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Aged Care Taskforce

Aged Care Taskforce

29 August 2023
Federal

National Seniors has long supported a focus on keeping people in their own homes for as long as they are able. This is based on feedback from our members and supporters who tell us time-and-time again they prefer to receive care at home, rather than in a residential aged care setting.

Summary
National Seniors Australia (NSA) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Aged Care Taskforce in response to the proposed principles. Our response to the proposed principles is drawn from our extensive surveys of older people, a summary of relevant findings is included in Appendix A of this submission. This includes findings from an unpublished survey on the views of approximately 10,000 respondents aged 50 and over conducted by NSA in partnership with Catalyst Consultancy and Research in June 2023.1 We support the six principles that have been put forward by the Taskforce. However, we are deeply concerned that aged care funding reform will become politicised if a cautious approach is not taken. While a recent National Seniors survey showed support among older people for changes to funding arrangements to improve the aged care system this support must not be taken for granted. There are still significant concerns about quality and safety, which if unaddressed will undermine public support for increased taxes and/or consumer contributions. We recommend government look carefully at all funding options and have outlined some of these in this submission. There are multiple ways government could raise additional resources to help pay for reforms, but regardless of which option/s are chosen, these should be increased slowly over time to give people time to adjust. Similar approaches have been adopted in other policy areas, such as the increase in the Superannuation Guarantee and the Age Pension eligibility age, and government would do well to adopt a similar approach in aged care. The current reform process is an opportunity to make aged care more sustainable, so it meets the needs of current and future generations. Our efforts should provide a flexible and reliable policy framework and system of practices and structures that are evidence based, take a long-term demographic perspective, and provide dignity, quality of care and safety for older people now and into the future.
Aged Care Taskforce

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Giving older Australians a better future

National Seniors is a not-for-profit membership and advocacy organisation that gives older Australians – working and retired – a strong national voice. We tackle issues such as age discrimination, mature age employment, the Age Pension, social inclusion, cost of living concerns and more.

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