El­derly ig­nored, pa­tro­n­ised

Avon Valley Gazette - - OPINION -

I WISH the gov­ern­ment of the day, State, Fed­eral or lo­cal, would take re­spon­si­bil­ity for the plight of the el­derly in this Shire where I have lived for 36 years.

This poorly- timed, poorly- planned and poorly-ex­e­cuted meet­ing with the Premier last Fri­day paid lip ser­vice to the el­derly in need. Many in at­ten­dance still had ques­tions and were dis­grun­tled when they left.

The meet­ing com­prised plat­i­tudes and had no sub­stance. No right of re­ply was of­fered to those ask­ing ques­tions. They were cut off.

If you don’t want the el­derly to come and en­gage with you, all you have to do is have your meet­ing at lunchtime and on a day when fam­i­lies are out at work and can­not at­tend to speak for their el­derly par­ents and grand­par­ents.

Plan­ning it for a day when all the ma­jor vol­un­teers in the com­mu­nity – and there are nu­mer­ous in aged care – are com­mit­ted to a well- pub­li­cised an­nual Shire of Kala­munda thank- you lunch, also helps to keep your num­bers down.

The meet­ing was de­signed to keep the State Gov­ern­ment out of the fir­ing line. For­tu­nately, it did not suc­ceed as the venue was packed.

The on­go­ing de­lays on Gavour Road ( aged care pro­posal) were not clar­i­fied af­ter a year of wait­ing. No light on the hori­zon was of­fered on Wilkins Road ei­ther, and both are the re­spon­si­bil­ity of State Gov­ern­ment.

The Premier ad­mit­ted he was not up to speed on the Kala­munda aged care cri­sis.

The State Gov­ern­ment ob­vi­ously sees no need to place aged care high on its po­lit­i­cal agenda and of­fered noth­ing con­crete to se­niors at Fri­day's meet­ing. This was about glib rhetoric. And Kala­munda’s el­derly were the col­lat­eral dam­age.

The el­derly and in­firm are marginalised, pa­tro­n­ised, ig­nored, and left feel­ing they have no voice.

Gov­ern­ments dis­miss them at their peril. IRIS JONES, Les­mur­die.

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