Aged care touches the lives of so many Australians directly and indirectly, and most families will have an experience with aged care services.
As the new Minister, I am focused on ensuring that our record funding enables senior Australians to access the care and services that they need so that they are able to live their lives in the way that they wish to and deserve.
Delivering on the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will be a vital part of this.
Having worked in a number of local residential care facilities as a building contractor prior to entering Parliament, I have watched changes in both service provision and community expectations over both my time in the Parliament and before, including changes in facility design standards and the increasing demand for and provision of in-home services.
The reality is that change has been a factor in this sector for a considerable period, driven by community expectations and a Government focus on quality. I expect that will continue, however I am very aware of the pressures those changes have placed on the system.
Meeting the expectations of Australians requiring aged care services will be the continued focus of the Government, including the development of residential aged care, and support to allow senior Australians to be cared for in their own homes.
There are clearly some issues that need to be dealt with properly and we must improve to ensure that the Australian community can have confidence that their loved ones are receiving a high standard of service and respect.
I see the Royal Commission as an opportunity to identify ways to achieve that improvement and look forward to their recommendations. The Government will also continue to roll out reforms already announced.
The new Aged Care Quality Standards and Charter of Rights were rolled out on 1 July – these are important milestones on Australia’s road to continuing to improve aged care for seniors.
Delivering on our election commitments of establishing an Aged Care Workforce Research Centre and investing in measures to reduce loneliness among senior Australians are also a priority.
I am consulting widely across the country to identify the challenges and opportunities that exist within aged care and I intend to be hands on in this ongoing process.
Lead photo: The Hon Richard Colbeck. Image: The Senior.