Heartbreaking wait for aged care exposed

Heartbreaking wait for aged care exposed Main Image

21 January 2021

The latest waiting list figures reveal just how broken our country’s aged care system is under the Morrison Government.

“The waiting lists for home care packages across the country show that 100,000 older Australians are in desperate need for care,” said Member for Eden-Monaro, Kristy McBain.

“Locally, 1,109 people are waiting, that’s up from 608 in the previous reporting period.

These figures are heartbreaking and reveal the pain and trauma many local families are feeling as they look to provide care and dignity to our elders.

“When you dig a bit deeper into these numbers from the Productivity Commission you start to get a sense of the human toll the crisis in our system is having.

“Some on the NSW waiting list, those with the highest needs, are stuck there for almost three years (Figure 14.5).

“And close to 40% (Figure 14.7) of older people in need of assistance reported that their needs were not fully met.

“We must do better by our most vulnerable people – the system is failing.”

The Aged Care Royal Commission’s interim report detailing the crisis in aged care was titled ‘Neglect’.

It called for urgent action more than a year ago, but the Morrison Government has failed to deliver.

“Those who work in aged care are doing their absolute best to provide care and quality of life to these precious souls, who in many cases have been the backbone of their community and family,” Ms McBain said.

“My mum did this work for many years – people within the system are just as heartbroken.

“Fixing the waiting lists and investing in aged care should be part of our recovery from bushfires and COVID-19.

“Jobs in the care economy provide meaningful work – especially in country towns and clearly meet a desperate need.

“An Albanese government will get this job done – but every day counts in the lives of these people and the time we have with them.”

Ms McBain is also determined to see more local places in residential aged care facilities.

“As I visit and talk to people across this vast electorate locals are concerned about access to aged care homes,” Ms McBain said.

“People want to be able to grow old within the community that has been their life, close to people and places they know and love, and that is a real challenge in places like Jindabyne and Cooma.”


*Note, Eden-Monaro is counted in the ‘Southern Highlands’ zone of the Home Care Packages Program.

Media contact - Ian Campbell, phone 0417 482 171