Victoria’s population is living longer. This should be a cause for celebration. More life years reflects better health outcomes and provides society with more experience and accumulated knowledge. Yet for many people, ageing does not bring respect and security but greater isolation and loneliness, ageist discrimination and even abuse. More than one in five older people say that they don’t feel valued. Nearly 50 percent of people over 65 have a disability that affects their ability to perform everyday tasks, yet they generally are ineligible for support under the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Victoria’s 50,000 aged-care residents too often live in utter neglect. The largest aged-care providers receive billions in subsidies, yet two-thirds of residents are at risk of malnutrition. And during the pandemic, policy decisions have been made as though elderly lives are expendable. It’s not good enough.
What we think
- Older people are not a burden; they are owed a debt of gratitude for their contribution to society.
- Older people should be supported to maintain their independence and to participate in politics, the economy and society, in accordance with their wishes.
- Working-class retirees have spent their lives creating wealth for employers and the state. Through taxes and levies on employers and the wealthy, governments must ensure that their needs are met.
- The sole purpose of residential aged-care facilities is to provide the highest standard of care for residents.
What we'll fight for
- Expand public, community-based aged-care facilities.
- Ban for-profit aged care.
- Initiate an immediate investigation into the sector, with criminal penalties for negligent owners and managers.
- Establish a public housing guarantee for pensioners so that anyone who needs secure housing can access it in their local neighbourhood.
- Increase the pensioner discount on electricity bills from 17.5 percent to 50 percent.
- Provide free dental care for pensioners.
- Provide free public transport for pensioners.
- Provide support and training for older people who want to return to work or education.
- Establish free digital literacy programs for seniors.
- Increase funding for public geriatric health services and research.
- Provide free, high-quality and well-maintained assistive technologies.
- Provide public home care services for seniors, such as nursing, cleaning and social services.
- Legislate aged-care staffing ratios across all aged-care services, including a mandate that registered nurses be on site 24/7.