Royal Commission misses chance to end ageism in aged care
The long-awaited Final Report from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety misses the opportunity to make any concrete recommendation to address ageism. This is despite Commissioner Briggs correctly identifying it as a contributor to our nation losing “our moral compass” in the delivery of aged care.
The national coalition-led campaign to end ageism, EveryAge Counts (www.everyagecounts.org.au) strongly agrees with Commissioner Briggs’ statement that “I fear that society as a whole undervalues older people and their contribution. The acceptance of poorer service provision in aged care reflects an undervaluing of the worth of older people, assumptions and stereotypes about older people and their capabilities, and ageism towards them. This must change.”
EveryAGE Counts Co-Chair, Robert Tickner states that “Many Australians grabbed the crucial opportunity offered by the Royal Commission to express deep concern about ageism driving many of the problems in aged care. A recent online event organised by EveryAGE Counts around ageism attracted some 700 people determined that things must change.”
“Why then, has the Commission largely shied away from offering any recommendations to directly address the problem? Changing ageist mindsets will not just happen. Sustained, well resourced, evidence based strategies are required to bring awareness of ageism to light and to shift ageist practices, behaviours and policies.”
“Recommendation 1 of the Report includes a call to promote positive community attitudes to enhance social and economic participation by people receiving aged care. Therefore EveryAGE Counts calls once again for a broad, sustained Commonwealth government-funded public awareness and education campaign on ageism and its impacts, aimed at shifting negative social norms on ageing and being older” Mr Tickner said.
EveryAGE Counts welcomes the Report’s recommendations to overhaul the Aged Care Act and the entire system by placing human and consumer rights at the centre. This has the potential to transform aged care in Australia and result in better lives for older people.
Lisa Hresc: 0421 761 332
Robert Tickner: 0457 505 207