29th Nov 2017
Government launches nationwide support networks for seniors
Author: Ben Hocking
Local voices for seniors in need

A free nationwide support network standing up for the rights of older Australians was launched by the Government on Wednesday.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) would immediately provide strong local voices for individuals in need.

“A key element of our ageing and aged care reform agenda is empowering older Australians, ensuring they have voices to speak up for them when they need it most,” said Mr Wyatt.

“Through OPAN’s network of nine service delivery organisations – one in each state and the ACT and two in the Northern Territory, in Darwin and Alice Springs – we are now providing a nationally consistent model of independent advocacy.

“This supports all elder Australians including those with varied needs who might be living with a disability or dementia, are care leavers, or are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.”

The Government has provided $25.7 million over the next three years for OPAN to deliver the new National Aged Care Advocacy Program.

Mr Wyatt said help was now at hand for people aged 55 and over, who encountered serious frustrations or needed guidance in navigating their aged care rights.

“Advocacy services have a proud record of supporting older Australians, especially in aged care settings,” Mr Wyatt said.

“They help ensure their rights are respected and that they can make informed decisions about their future.

“People needing help should see the OPAN website or dial the freecall number and they will be linked to a local service offering personal support.

“The aim of the service is simple – providing the free, independent and confidential advocacy support and information our elder Australians deserve.”

He said preventing and addressing elder abuse was also a priority for the Turnbull Government, and OPAN would play a role in tackling this issue, as well.

“In addition to our $15 million elder abuse election commitment, I have provided OPAN with an additional $1 million towards its work on continuing elder abuse prevention and support activities,” said Mr Wyatt.

What do you think? Does the Government’s support of an older person advocacy network go far enough?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    29th Nov 2017
    I'm from the Government, I'm here to help you. Yeah, pull the other leg, it plays Jingle Bells.
    29th Nov 2017
    Ditto. Please note AN ELECTION IS COMING and this lot have pushed most seniors towards Labor and minor parties.

    "A free nationwide support network standing up for the rights of older Australians was launched by the Government on Wednesday. Does mean older Australians will no longer be discriminated against in job applications? Or that they will not be fired for being over 50? Or that pensions stolen from many will be returned?

    I see this for what it is: public relations.

    Sorry guys but your crooked political party is toast. I don't think even Rupert Murdoch running a propaganda campaign will help you. Try another "bill shock Bill' slogan. I'll go with 'COAL COLLUSION COALITION' myself.
    29th Nov 2017
    There have been so many horrible, negative articles and documentaries relating to age care and resident aged care in particular, I just feel that I NEVER EVER want to go there.

    Why is there so much stress on making us live longer and work longer if there is quite a high degree of certainty that we are going to be neglected abused, undernourished or sexually assaulted at the end of our days.

    It goes on and on - I have seen with my own eyes older and slower people in rehab, hospital and residential care having food snatched away before they have managed to eat it - because staff are in a hurry to clear up. I have seen older people being unable to get what they need from a meal because they cannot open those stupid little containers of cereal margarine and jam and often milk too. I have seen them unable to eat meat because staff are too busy to cut it up for them.

    I have seen the homes of people getting dirtier and dirtier because the home helps don't clean properly. Why don't councils do spot checks from time to time.

    My sister worked as a resident home help in the UK and she told me they were not allowed to stay for more than 2 weeks. This was to ensure that if there was unkindness or abuse the recipient was removed from that situation if they could not convey what was happening to them.

    It also prevented a situation where carers could wheedle their way into large gifts both before and after the recipient's death.

    I think that the people who matter the most here and not being consulted about the way things are done for them. You see lovely retirement villages with totally inappropriate gym equipment for the residents (yes, the staff love it!), units built without ramps not just for wheel chairs but for people who can't manage steps easily, units without adequate heating in bathrooms
    29th Nov 2017
    Hi Maggie,
    You scare me a bit; At my age (88) :-) I am mindful that I will eventually need full care.
    At present, I get 1.5 hours domestic every two weeks and my lady from Blue Care is excellent. I hope they do not change her.
    29th Nov 2017
    So very true Maggie, I too have seen all of these things and they are endemic in our aged persons care facilities. Obviously I use the word "care" loosely. It never ceases to amaze me that the Government can always find money to fund this and that, but can never find enough money just to give pensioners a little bit extra. I do believe that all politicians should have to spend at least 3 months living on the pension before entering parliament and to that end, perhaps they should also be forced to live in some care facilities for a while to see just what is happening to our elderly. Of course, at the end of the day, they will never be forced to live like that, so what do they really care.
    4th Dec 2017
    I have threatened my children with haunting them when I die if they put me in a nursing home, having seen the neglect my dear Dad was treated with in a "posh" nursing home. Whilst they are up & running things are ok but once they fall I'll they are forgotten!
    Politicians should have the same criteria for a pension as everybody else, the same age as us plus an asset test, they would never be entitled to a pension! It is criminal what they are getting away with, one law for them & another for us! WE are their employers, shouldn't WE be making the rules!
    Supposedly they go into government to improve everything for us, I haven't seen any evidence of that in all of my 75 yrs!
    29th Nov 2017
    Is this some kind of government Christmas joke?
    29th Nov 2017
    Maybe the pension is going to become less and less to pay for this extravagance by the government.
    You can't thrust them as far as you could kick them.
    29th Nov 2017
    That should have read can't trust them not thrust them.
    29th Nov 2017
    “Advocacy services have a proud record of supporting older Australians, especially in aged care settings,” Mr Wyatt said.
    He said preventing and addressing elder abuse was also a priority for the Turnbull Government,
    This has been said ad nauseum by governments and then they get back on their seats and hibernate. Wouldn't trust whatever government said as far as I could spit in a head wind.
    29th Nov 2017
    This is a step in the right direction.It could lead to clear information about the needs of mature citizens and where to prioritise govt. efforts. It could also be a typical fob off set up. ‘ Please hold on, your call is important to us.’
    29th Nov 2017
    strange cos its not 1st April yet !!
    29th Nov 2017
    Every day is 1st April for government ministers.
    29th Nov 2017
    A support service - or just another way of finding out about your assets and income? Why is it
    that we just don't trust the Government WE elect?
    29th Nov 2017
    Because we never learn, we keep on electing the same useless seat warmers.
    Isn't the definition of insanity electing the same people over and over again and expecting different results?
    29th Nov 2017
    How about restoring our pension entitlements that you transferred to general revenue and spent. These are pathetic attempts to to try and win seniors back to voting for their party come election time. Superannuation was originally set up to supplement the pension. Not replace it!!!
    4th Dec 2017
    At last, somebody who remembers what super was set up for!
    So shouldn't we all revolt?
    Why are taxpayers paying for childcare whilst the poor old pensioner who paid their taxes all their lives are forced to live on bugger all? Nobody paid for childcare for us, if you have a baby YOU look after it!
    Old Man
    29th Nov 2017
    I wonder how many Australian residents will be affected by this scheme. How many people are disabled, have dementia, are care leavers (whatever that is) or are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This smells of a vote catching announcement which really affects a very small percentage.
    29th Nov 2017
    I agree with Cruzisuzi
    restoring our pension entitlements transferred to general revenue and spent. Superannuation was originally set up to supplement the pension. Not replace
    A big reason they will be out at the next election !!
    30th Nov 2017
    Agree. First step should have been to declare an Universal Pension for say all who have lived / paid taxes here for say 20 years. Then see who needs further help.
    Old Geezer
    29th Nov 2017
    Just another government scheme for some one to exploit. Nothing more.
    ex PS
    4th Dec 2017
    Just another government scheme to exploit the Retirees. Nothing more.
    Polly Esther
    29th Nov 2017
    I think somebody's heard it filtering through the corridors and have to decided to run with it, the saying that says "You can fool some of the people some of the time" etc. LOL
    ex PS
    4th Dec 2017
    But you can fool Coalition voters all of the time?
    29th Nov 2017
    If preventing elder abuse is a priority for the Turnbull government why are they still financially abusing Old Age Pensioners and those relegated to New Start?
    Of course the government are working up to another election so this is probably the first step in that election campaign :-)
    Old Geezer
    29th Nov 2017
    OAPs have never had it so good as they do today.
    29th Nov 2017
    Oh, OG, not again. Please change the record.
    29th Nov 2017
    Maybe they could use the 25 million to put some staff on at Centrelink instead, so something gets done occasionally. And reviewing the absurdly high deeming rate on savings wouldn't hurt either.
    29th Nov 2017
    Called them today, got fobbed off and told I will put you through to someone else. Listening to music for over 35 minutes, and my phone is on prepaid so was forced to hang up, I already spent over $5 waiting.
    29th Nov 2017
    If it's coming from the Li(e)berals, then rest assured it's a big pile of bullsh*t. Bring on an election so we can kick this inept mendacious cretins out of office.
    29th Nov 2017
    What does an advocacy do? Advise people to go elsewhere? What a waste of money again to create jobs in blue collar workforce where they sit around discussing things instead of action.

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