There is a crisis in the Aged Care system and the Government has been in denial over it. The quality of care and services for older Australians is Laborsprimary concern.
We hope that a Royal Commission into aged care in Australia charts a path for better services and the restoration of funding cut from the sector.
There is a shortage of residential care places and a shortage of home care packages for people who are still living at home.
More than 108,000 across Australia have been assessed as needing a home care package but there is no funding available to assist them with their daily needs.
This includes 88,000 older Australians with high needs, many with dementia.
Locally there are 1200 elderly people in the Illawarra, and 671 in the Southern Highlands in this National Priority Queue.
These numbers will grow. There are more than 97,000 locals in the Illawarra are aged over 65. Almost 13,000 in the region are aged over 85.
Across Australia the number of people aged 85 is rapidly increasing compared to younger age groups, and is projected to double by 2032.
Despite this Scott Morrisons last Budget did not deliver one new dollar of funding to aged care.
As Treasurer, Scott Morrison, cut almost $2 billion out of the aged care system.
The Royal Commission should look at the impact of these cuts and it look at future funding and sustainability of the sector as well as workforce issues around the sector.
You cannot rip almost $2 billion out of an aged care system and not have an impact on quality and waiting lists.
The Government needs to act now on the things it knows are wrong with the system.
Older Australians and their families cannot wait until the end of the Royal Commission, for the known issues is to be fixed.