Home | Aged Care Royal Commission | ‘Older people must be consulted’: Peak advocacy bodies call for public feedback
Feedback for the new framework of the act is open, with peak bodies encouraging older Australians to get a say.

‘Older people must be consulted’: Peak advocacy bodies call for public feedback

The federal government has asked for feedback from caregivers, stakeholders, older people, their families, and their carers on the framework of the new Aged Care Act.

Last Wednesday, Aged Care Minister Anika Wells posted on X (formerly known as Twitter), urging people to have their say.

"The Aged Care Act was created in 1997 by the Howard government," Ms Wells said.

"30 years later, it still focuses on how providers run their services – not on the rights and needs of older people."

The revised act will come into effect from 1 July 2024 and aims to focus on putting older Australians at the front and centre of aged care.

Created by the Department of Health and Aged Care, the consultation document detailing the suggested components of the new act is online and ready for feedback.

Peak advocacy bodies – Council on the Ageing Australian (COTA) and Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) – will host a series of forums across Australia seeking feedback "from those with lived experience".

Patricia Sparrow chief of COTA said it was essential to start prioritising the needs of older Australians with the act.

"A key recommendation from the Aged Care Royal Commission was that our Aged Care Act needed to be revisited," Ms Sparrow said.

"It’s great that the Federal Government is finally opening up the conversation about what an Aged Care Act that truly delivers for older Australians looks like."

"We’ll be speaking to older people and their families and carers over the coming weeks to ensure that the voices and experiences of those who matter most are heard loud and clear."

Craig Gear chief of OPAN said the current version of the act was "largely divorced from the human experience" of older Australians.

"If we are serious about a rights-based act that puts older people, and the services they need, front and centre, then it stands to reason that older people must also be front and centre of the discussion," Mr Gear said.

"Australia is at an aged care crossroads. The actions we take over the next 12 months will be crucial."

"Since older people are the experts in their aged care, we need their input on this major piece of reform to ensure we get it right."

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