The NSW Greens believe:
1. Older people have the right to live with dignity and safety free from abuse and neglect, and free from discrimination, negative stereotyping and common myths associated with the ageing process.
2. The skills and life experiences of older people benefit the whole community.
3. Older people have the right to participate equally in the social, economic and political aspects of life without discrimination, and to maintain their independence to whatever degree they feel safe. There should be mechanisms in place to facilitate their full participation in community life.
4. All older Australians are entitled to a liveable income and appropriate concessions.
5. The state government must play an active role in the provision, regulation and support of aged care accommodation and services and ensure that all services are free from abuse and exploitation of older people.
6. Access to high quality, appropriate health and aged care services should be on the basis of need, and not on the ability to pay or on geographical location, and should be delivered after extensive consultation with older people and their representative organisations.
7. Health policies for older people should focus on health promotion and quality of life issues, including social isolation and emotional well-being, as well as primary care and the management of ill health.
8. The primary object of residential care for older people is to provide a high standard of care rather than return high profits to shareholders or owners of facilities.
9. There must be better coordination of government and agency services, and improved delivery of information to older people about the services available to them.
10. Governments must carry out long term planning based on needs analysis and appropriate consultation with older people so as to provide adequate, appropriate and timely services across all regions of NSW, taking into account the diversity of cultures and needs in the community. Such services should meet the health, housing, supplementary care and social wellbeing of older people.
11. There must be adequate, appropriate consultation with First Nations peoples and culturally and linguistically diverse communities so that the full range of services can be delivered in a culturally appropriate manner.
12. All forms of Australian residential care should be moved to a model that allows for partner placement in medium and high care facilities.
13. In universal and comprehensive access to aged care services for LGBTIQA+ elders, so as to address discrimination in the sector, particularly noting religious exemptions to discrimination.
14. Abolish all forms of legal protection of discrimination by aged care providers and services.
The Greens NSW will work to:
Legislative and procedural changes
15. Implement the highest level of protection against violence towards older people, including:
- Incorporation of legislative protection for older people into the domestic violence legislation;
- Covering the needs of older people in all material relating to family violence;
- Investigation of alternative models of protection including the Queensland Elder Abuse Protection Unit;
- Research into the problem of abuse of older people and the establishment of a task force to formulate strategies for action.
16. Establish an independent review of the Guardianship Board to investigate allegations that it has exerted unwarranted and unnecessary control in cases where older people and their families were capable of managing their own affairs.
17. Fund the further education of clinical practitioners in the area of service delivery to older people.
18. During the process of closing the gap in health and ageing outcomes for First Nations peoples, lower the eligibility age for a Seniors card in recognition of the lower life expectancy amongst First Nations peoples and people with specific health conditions.
In the community
19. Promote flexibility in services to meet changing needs and community aspirations.
20. Maintain the Home and Community Care Program (and similar or replacement programs) and increase its funding in line with increasing populations of older people.
21. Increase hospital funding to meet the health needs of the ageing population.
22. Adapt public spaces, buildings and transport to make them safer and friendlier to the increasing numbers of older people.
23. Improve access for older people to formal and informal educational opportunities, including:
- Community education, community arts programs and literary skills upgrading;
- Continuing education (Adult Education, School for Seniors, University of the Third Age);
- The involvement of older people in the planning, implementation and evaluation of programs relevant to them;
- Stability in funding and service delivery in these programs.
24. Provide adequate public funding to support and enhance the social options for older people.
25. Establish appropriate standards that facilitate the access of older people to all public and private buildings and facilities.
26. Provide appropriate funding for all aged care services to disseminate information on the management of the particular problems of ageing relating to mobility, mental and bodily functions to assist older people.
27. Transition aged care facilities into public ownership and management.
28. Provide public or publicly supported home maintenance services to reduce maintenance costs and to make the home safer.
29. Provide increased assistance such as home nursing, clinical consultations in the home, domestic assistance and provision of meals.
30. Extend respite services operating across NSW by:
- Enabling day care centres to provide after-hours respite and respite on weekends;
- Increasing the level of respite funding to encourage nursing homes to provide more respite;
- A further expansion of respite booking services operated by Aged Care Assessment teams;
- Introducing special services for those suffering from dementia, and for their carers.
31. Provide adequate funding for carers’ support services including education, self-care programs, flexible and affordable respite care and network groups to help address the problems associated with the isolation of carers and recognition of their status, in particular for those living in rural, remote and isolated locations.
32. Improve conditions for carers of older people so that they receive adequate remuneration and respite so that they can meet their own needs for outside employment, recreation and time out.
33. Prioritise education, training and fair wage conditions related to aged care, to encourage more people to enter the sector as workers.
34. Raise minimum standards for aged care facilities, including but not limited to setting a carer:resident ratio and no-notice inspections.
Revised October 2022