The Greens candidate for the seat of Eden-Monaro, Pat McGinlay, says older Australians have been let down by the current national government, which has failed to ensure they have access to safe, affordable care.
"This is of particular concern in Eden-Monaro with a higher proportion of older people than the national average and people living in numerous small communities with limited health and care services," Mr McGinlay said.
"The Greens have committed to an initial investment of $3 billion, which can deliver substantial improvements to people living in residential care, including:
more hours of care provided to each resident in residential aged care
staff-to-resident ratios will change to ensure an adequate level of care including a minimum of one registered nurse rostered 24/7
increase of 15% in pay for aged care workers
an end to the use of chemical and physical restraints in aged care facilities; and
a review the Aged Care Funding Instrument.
Mr McGinlay has had recent personal experience as a care worker in a residential care facility . He provided personal care in ‘high care’ and dementia parts of the facility.
“I have experienced at first hand the stresses on woefully underpaid care staff, due primarily to chronic under-staffing,” Mr McGinlay said. “Personal Care workers often struggle with simply the lack of time to provide the level of care that they know and want to be able to provide.
“With a continually increasing demographic of elderly Australians needing more places, it is vital that wages reflect and recognise the responsibilities of the roles, so more staff will be attracted to the roles and retained as experienced workers, better able to properly assist the residents in their care.
“The Greens will ensure older Australians are able to choose whether to stay at home or to move to residential care. To boost the stay at home option, we have also pledged additional 50,000 level 3 and 4 Home Care Packages over three years at a cost of $5.491 billion. This includes hundreds of packages for Eden-Monaro.”
More information about The Australian Greens aged care policy is available at: https://greens.org.au/sites/default/files/2019-03/Greens%202019%20Policy%20Platform-Aged%20Care%20.pdf )