In this guest post, Leading Age Services (LASA) CEO, Sean Rooney outlines key topics to be addressed at their upcoming Roadmap to Reform virtual forum on July 15.
The Roadmap to Reform is a great opportunity to drive the transformation of our age services, following the Royal Commission’s final report and the need for change for ageing Australians.
According to the latest Intergenerational Report, across the next four decades, the number of people over 70 will more than double, over-85s will more than triple and over-100s will increase more than sixfold – to 40,900 in 2061.
We need to make Australia an ageing well nation – we have analysed the Royal Commission report and have called for more support for age service providers, consumers and the workforce, to effect change.
With a record Budget amount committed to aged care, it is up to us to influence and guide the Government’s reforms and re-imagine care across Australia, especially in the next five years.
The heavy lifting starts now because there is much work to do to translate these commitments into tangible actions, realising the outcomes for your Mum, Dad, relatives and the thousands of older Australians who are going to be increasingly relying on our system to provide care and support.
The Budget will alleviate in part some of the pressing issues in the aged care system right now, along with Home Care Packages that will, hopefully, resolve the almost 100,000 queue, and a large workforce development program.
In a better aged care system, there will be more staff, more staff time and, hopefully, increasing wages. These staff will be better skilled, qualified and trained so they will have the time and the skills to deliver the care that older people need.
The Royal Commission has opened up an expansive program of different services, including clinical care, mental health, allied health, occupational therapists, social and emotional supports and other activities for people ageing in their homes.
This future Roadmap for Reform is forward-looking seeking to understand how we work with the Government on the $17.7 billion programs they announced and beyond.
This is a once-in-a-generation chance for change and the question is what will implementation look like for Australians who are getting older and the services and staff who care for and support them?
Now is the time for a whole-of-industry response, with a clearly articulated plan for the way forward.
We want to clarify and understand what the road ahead looks like for older people, their families, providers and the vital workforce.
With the Roadmap for Reform, we have Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt speaking, Commissioner Janet Anderson of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and consumer groups like the Council On The Ageing and the Older Persons Advocacy Network.
There are many researchers including Professor Joseph Ibrahim of Monash University, Professor Kathy Eagar of Wollongong University and Professor Hal Swerissen of the Grattan Institute.
We are also concentrating on the workforce, which will employ another 88,000 places in residential aged care over the next 10 years.
And 78,000 extra workers are needed in the next decade to deal with the country’s ageing population.
There will also be more than a dozen high-profile providers who will discuss and analyse services in-home care, residential care and retirement living for ageing people.
We want an aged care system that is effective, compassionate, safe, responsive, accessible, people-centred and fit-for-purpose.
The detailed sessions include older people and a consumer-centric system, the Government vision, system settings, workforce, quality and the reform overview.
We have distilled the key challenges, opportunities and delivery targets that will meet our industry’s obligations to our elders and determine our sustainability.
It is not just up to the Government, it is up to us as an industry to inform change and create a system that is both enduring and consistent with consumer needs.
The Roadmap to Reform is people’s opportunity to connect with industry thought-leaders and decision-makers to discuss and debate the way forward for older Australians.