Labor is the party of aged care reform and older Australians can be assured we will always do better for older Australians in residential aged care, for those waiting for care at home and through Medicare. Only Labor will be in a position to improve aged care and adequately respond to the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
Labor will work with the sector, to improve aged care and respond to the Royal Commission’s recommendations once they are handed down. To further improve the quality of care and support a future aged care workforce, an elected Shorten Labor Government will:
- Immediately investigate interventions to ensure older Australians most at need are prioritised for home care.
- Provide opportunities through TAFE so that up to 20,000 aged care workers can obtain or improve their qualifications.
- Immediately speed up implementation of the Matter of Care workforce strategy to address inadequate staffing in aged care.
- Ensure that for residential aged care facilities there is a registered nurse present, on site, 24 hours a day.
- Publish the skill mix of the workforce employed at every residential aged care facility to ensure the appropriate skills-mix of properly trained staff is present at all times.
- Look at how best to improve access to home care packages and increasing staffing levels and skills.
- Further address the number of GPs working in aged care to provide proper incentives for GPs to do home visits and provide services in residential aged care.
Consistent with Labor’s commitment to support Australians with dementia and their families and carers, a Shorten Labor Government will:
- Make improving the care of Australians with dementia a national priority.
- Remove the complexity of multiple interactions between the Department of Health and Ageing, Centrelink, aged care providers, and the broader health care system for Australians with dementia and their families.
- Improve the training of aged care staff to improve the workforce’s understanding of dementia, including scholarships for nurses and carers to undertake specialist dementia care training.
These commitments are a start to tackling the crisis in age care. Labor is committed to working through the recommendations of the Royal Commission to make the crucial reforms needed in our aged care system and ensure the long-term sustainability of the sector.
We should judge ourselves as a nation by how we treat our elderly.