Aged care advocates release election priorities

Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia has released its policy agenda for the next Federal Parliament, with tackling ageism and elder abuse high on the list of priorities.
The peak body and advocate for older Australians set out 12 public policy areas and 37 recommendations for the 47th Parliament following next month’s Federal Election, with the agenda available to view online.
According to Chief Executive Ian Yates AM (pictured), the next Government and Parliament will have the opportunity to improve the lives of older Australians.
“We are not apportioning blame for the past. Both major parties have things to be proud of, and failings, but our focus is on what can be achieved in the next three years.
“That’s what matters to older people, and indeed their families, which is really all Australians,” he said.
With Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) research in 2021 showing that 83 per cent of Australians believe age discrimination is a problem in Australia, and 63 per cent have experienced it in the last five years, Ian believes that now is the time to address ageism.
“Ageism is expressed in many ways, including laws and policies that harm older people, employment discrimination, exclusion from health and other services, and social isolation.
“It’s time to remove ageism from Australia – especially to strengthen age discrimination legislation so it’s actually effective, because it’s a failure now – and tackling it in employment services and the healthcare system is a priority,” he said.
COTA is also urging the addition of oral and dental health to Medicare.
Another area in which COTA is pushing for action is on elder abuse, which Ian says is “widespread, poorly identified, and often difficult to prove”. Not just limited to nursing homes, Ian points out, elder abuse is far more prevalent and less reported in the community, and usually is perpetrated by family, close friends, and sometimes lawyers.
“Physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, and financial elder abuse are crimes that occur every day in every neighbourhood in Australia – city, country, rich, and poor.
“Much more concerted action by Governments is long overdue. If elder abuse was child sex abuse, or gender violence, it would not be tolerated. It’s time that applied to older people. Government and Parliament must act,” he said.
Other areas of concern for COTA include transforming aged care, implementing a better retirement income policy, and developing a whole-of-government ageing strategy.

Popular Articles

View All Articles
Article Img
Your sense of balance later in life can be crucial – how to improve yours

A fall at a later stage in life can be scary, and can even cause some serious damage. A sense of balance is not something we’re all equipped with, so as you age, falls can be a real sense of anxiety. However, there are lots of things you can do to prevent falling by improving your balance.

Article Img
Retirement village family open their first land lease community

Well-known retirement village family open their first land lease community in Victoria The Gannon family, led by Tom and Michael Gannon, have unveiled 226 homes at the Lucas Lifestyle Estate in Ballarat.

Article Img
73% of Australians willing to sacrifice inheritance for aged care

Nearly three-quarters of all Australians are willing to sacrifice their own inheritance so their parents and grandparents can enjoy the retirement they deserve, according to a new report by B2B aged care service CompliSpace.

Article Img
Volunteers are the backbone of the aged care sector, and more are needed

Tens of thousands of people, of all ages, such as 90-year-old Lily Burns and 20-year-old Charlise Hannagan, volunteer in aged care homes. The Change Makers is the theme for this year’s National Volunteer Week, 15 to 21st May, which celebrates the vital work of volunteers.

A special thanks to our contributors

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.