Older People

Older people have a right to choose their level of independence, and to social, economic and political participation.

Principles

The Australian Greens believe that:

  1. Older people have an equal right to participate in social, economic and political aspects of life and to maintain control over their independence.
  2. The skills and life experience of older people benefit the whole community and the economy.
  3. All older Australians are entitled to a liveable income and appropriate concessions.
  4. The federal government must play a central role in the provision, regulation and support of aged care services.
  5. Older Australians, their carers and their families should have the right to choose appropriate and affordable care services that meet their needs and maintain their dignity, independence and quality of life.
  6. Access to high quality, appropriate health and aged care services should be on the basis of need and not the ability to pay or the place of residence.
  7. A lifelong approach to active ageing should form the basis of national policy, based on World Health Organisation (WHO) Active Ageing principles focusing on wellness, age-friendly environments, availability and accessibility of effective health care, and active participation in all aspects of community life.
  8. Australia’s diverse community calls for a range of ways to support older people to age in line with their beliefs, culture, language, sexuality, gender identity and their chosen support network.

Aims

The Australian Greens want:

  1. The federal government to introduce a mechanism to address systemic age discrimination.
  2. Income support for all older people, equivalent to or better than the minimum wage.
  3. A range of affordable, appropriate and secure accommodation options, including public and social housing, to be available for older people, including those in regional and rural Australia.
  4. A high quality aged care system characterised by quality support, nursing and personal care, with safe and comfortable surroundings for older people whether in residential, home or hospital care.
  5. Fair and reasonable arrangements for aged care accommodation bonds and service costs.
  6. Appropriate aged care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, LGBTI people, and other people from socially, culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
  7. Appropriate support services for older people who choose to remain in their own homes, including community care programs and home modification.
  8. Adequate support for carers of older people, including respite services, access to information, income support and tax benefits.
  9. Increased funding to enhance the numbers, skills and salaries of staff in the aged care sector.
  10. The needs of older people included in urban planning and design, ranging from universal design standards for adaptable housing to accessible transport and community facilities.
  11. The expansion of community based education for older people and improved mechanisms that support older workers to take up skilling and educational opportunities.
  12. Improved employment outcomes for older Australians, through:
    1. flexible work arrangements;
    2. skills development;
    3. development and implementation of older worker employment strategies;
    4. embedding of age diversity within workforces; and
    5. modelling best practice on attracting, developing, and retaining older workers.
  13. State and territory governments to amend workers' compensation regimes, including incapacity payments, to ensure older workers are not disadvantaged.
  14. Availability and affordability of insurance for older Australians, including insurance for volunteers and travel insurance.
  15. Investment in leading research and practice to minimise the impacts of dementia on older people, their families and their communities.
  16. Investment in facilitating older people to plan their financial and health future, including confirming enduring guardians, enduring financial managers and advanced care directives.
  17. A focus on early intervention and preventive health to help older Australians maintain their mobility, well-being and participation, and reduce demand for health services.