More sup­port needed for aged care

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News -

IT was prob­a­bly fair enough that the Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Aged Care and Indige­nous Health Ken Wy­att didn’t drop in for a me­dia op­por­tu­nity at St John’s Vil­lage this week dur­ing his whis­tle-stop tour of Indi with Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi).

It would prob­a­bly have been the last thing St John’s res­i­dents needed af­ter the tragic events they have ex­pe­ri­enced in re­cent weeks.

It also gave the me­dia the op­por­tu­nity to fo­cus on a more pos­i­tive as­pect of aged care in Wan­garatta such as the in­no­va­tions that St Cather­ine’s Hos­tel have in­tro­duced to bet­ter look af­ter their res­i­dents.

While the lock­down at St John’s was lifted a week ago they are still op­er­at­ing un­der stricter than nor­mal en­try pro­to­cols for the con­tin­ued wel­fare of their res­i­dents, which is un­der­stand­able, but hope­fully, nor­mal op­er­a­tions will re­sume in the near fu­ture.

The main mes­sage the Min­is­ter should have learned dur­ing his visit is the won­der­ful work that all four of Wan­garatta’s aged care fa­cil­i­ties pro­vide in the North East de­spite the in­creas­ing de­mands.

Like al­most ev­ery as­pect of so­ci­ety, aged care is feel­ing the pinch of ris­ing costs on just about ev­ery front with­out the match­ing fi­nan­cial sup­port from gov­ern­ment.

The fa­cil­i­ties and the res­i­dents rarely get treated with the nec­es­sary pri­or­ity from gov­ern­ments of all per­sua­sions who tend to favour more ac­tive lobby groups who have the abil­ity and re­sources to push their agen­das bet­ter than the el­derly and re­cently re­tired.

What po­lit­i­cal par­ties need to be aware of is this group is grow­ing as a per­cent­age of the pop­u­la­tion and one day its po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence will match its size.

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