Labor candidate makes care of ageing a Cowper election issue
LABOR candidate for Cowper Alfredo Navarro says five bills passed in the House of Representatives this week will significantly improve the lives of senior citizens in the electorate.
Driven by Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, changes to the Aged Care Act are part of the Labor Government's $3.7 billion Living Longer Living Better aged care reforms package.
Mr Navarro said aged care is an issue often lost in an election campaign but he is determined not to let it slide.
"As candidate for the seat of Cowper one of my personal concerns is services provided for our ageing community," he said.
"This covers areas of accessibility in the home and in the wider community of health services, transport and community care.
"My conversations with the ageing community reveal they are looking for some assistance within their own home.
"They wish to live as one with, and not feel like a hindrance to the community.
"Our seniors only want to live with self-respect and dignity."
Minister Butler said Labor reforms to the Act will replace an aged care system designed a quarter of a century ago and which is now ill-equipped to meet the needs of retiring baby boomers and their parents who are living longer and healthier lives.
A nationwide rollout will provide almost $1 billion in new funding for home care which will see the number of home support packages almost double from 60,000 to 100,000.
It will provide tailored care packages to people with dementia receiving home care and new funding to boost dementia care.
Increased funding will go to residential aged care with 30,000 new places over the next five years and $480 million for aged care homes to significantly upgrade their facilities.
Further funding will release $1.2 billion to deliver higher wages, better conditions and more rewarding careers for the nation's 350,000 aged care workers.
Mr Navarro said 2011 Census figures showed the percentages of older residents in the electorate who will be eligible for assistance under the Labor Government's reforms.
55-59 year -10,239 people = 6.1% of our community
60-64 -10,032 = 5.6%
65-69 -8,094 = 4.4%
70-74 -6,409 = 3.4%
Over 74 = 4,857
Over 80 = 3,734
Over 85 = 3,584
"Close to a third of our community will be in need or are already in need of services in Cowper," Mr Navarro added.
"Our infrastructure and services must be part of our future plans to accommodate these needs and support of our aged community.
"This is one of many issues I have taken up on behalf of the community."