Older People

The Greens believe:

  1. We need to care for those that have cared for us and ensure that all South Australians can age with dignity.

  2. The contribution of knowledge and experience of older South Australians should be valued.

  3. Older South Australians deserve the opportunity to participate in all aspects of community life, including social, economic and political.

  4. Older South Australians should maintain control over their independence, for as long as they have the mental capacity to make such decisions.

  5. A lifelong approach to active ageing should form the basis of policy for older South Australians, focusing on wellness, age-friendly environments, availability and accessibility of effective health care, and active participation in all aspects of community life.

  6. Older South 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.

  7. Everyone should have access to high-quality and appropriate aged care services, regardless of where they live or how much they earn.

  8. Emphasis should be given to preventative health, early intervention and rehabilitation to help older South Australians to maintain their mobility, well-being, and participation in the community, reducing demand on chronic and acute healthcare services.

  9. South Australia’s diverse community requires 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.

  10. Programs to protect older South Australians from elder abuse and discrimination should be a human rights priority.

  11. All levels of government must play a coordinated role in the provision, regulation and support of aged care services.

  12. The design and implementation of aged care services should be undertaken with extensive community consultation including older people and their families, representative organisations, aged care providers and academics.

  13. Residential care for older South Australians must prioritise quality of care, not profits.

  14. When people are placed in residential care and are married/partnered, sensitive consideration should be given to the placement of their partner, particularly if the residential care is in a medium or high care facility.

  15. We should have a broad view when considering the needs of older South Australians, factoring in health, housing, supplementary care, social wellbeing and opportunities for communication with others via modern communication media and relevant supporting education.

The Greens will:

Health and Aged Care
  1. Work in partnership with all levels of government and with seniors’ organisations, service providers and other experts to develop research, policy, services and programs that enhance the health, participation and community engagement of older Australians.

  2. Involve older South Australians and their carers, communities and representative organisations in the development, provision and review of services.

  3. Provide a high-quality aged care system characterised by quality support, nursing, medical, dental and personal care, with a focus on adequate staffing, in safe and comfortable surroundings for older people whether in residential, home or hospital care.

  4. Increase the number of rehabilitation facilities linked to hospitals and improve geriatric health care facilities and related services to reduce the pressure on acute care beds.

  5. Implement mandated minimum staffing levels and skill mix, and raise minimum standards of care and operation in aged care facilities, including setting a carer:resident ratio and making no-notice inspections a regular practice.

  6. Ensure aged care services can appropriately provide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, LGBTIQ people, and other people from socially, culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds through education initiatives.

  7. Provide appropriate support services for older people who choose to remain in their own homes, including community respite care programs and home modification.

  8. Ensure adequate support for personal carers of older people, including access to respite services, relevant information, income support, tax benefits, education, self-care programs, network groups and adequate remuneration, and where possible, outside employment.

  9. 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.

  10. Improve workforce conditions for aged care workers, including improved employment opportunities, award wages and conditions and access to training to meet the needs of the aged care sector.

  11. Invest in leading research and practice to minimise the impacts of dementia on older people, their families and their communities.

  12. Promote and invest in facilitating older people to plan their financial and health future, including completing Enduring Power of Attorney and Advance Care Directives documents.

  13. Focus on quality and affordable early intervention and preventive health services, including dental treatment, to help older Australians maintain their mobility, well-being and community participation, and reduce demand for future acute health services.

  14. Improve measures to prevent and respond to elder abuse and discrimination, including undertaking legislative reform that enables a coordinated response to the abuse of adults in vulnerable situations.

  15. In conjunction with other states and territories, establish a national framework on elder abuse.

  16. Increase funding for advocacy and advice services for older South Australians and their carers.

  17. Investigate the advantages and disadvantages of introducing monitored closed-circuit television cameras in private and public areas of aged care facilities to prevent and detect mistreatment of residents and staff.

  18. Abolish legal protections for aged care providers and services that allow them to discriminate against older South Australians in their care.

  19. Lower the eligibility age for a Seniors card for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as part of the process for closing the gap in health and ageing outcomes.

  20. Increase hospital funding to meet the health needs of the ageing population.

  21. Provide increased assistance such as home nursing, clinical consultations in the home, domestic assistance and provision of meals.

  22. Fund positive ageing centres to cater to the physical, social and mental well-being of seniors and their carers.

  23. Require all medical specialists to publish fees on a well-publicised and accessible public register and require GPs to inform patients about choice when referring to a medical specialist.

  24. Ensure a range of affordable, appropriate and secure accommodation options, including public and social housing, are available for older people, including those in regional and rural South Australia.

  25. Establish measures to address the social and financial disadvantage and insecurity faced by older women, including in housing.

  26. Provide a range of housing options for older people with low levels of assets and those who have faced lifetime disadvantage, particularly focusing on the growing number of older women at risk of homelessness.

  27. Ensure fair and reasonable arrangements for aged care accommodation bonds and service costs.

  28. Establish a funded scheme to undertake minor home renovations and maintenance for older South Australians, including installation of communication technologies in order to enable older people to remain in their own homes in reasonable comfort, safety and connectivity with family, the community and emergency services.

  29. Include age as a priority factor in determining access to public housing.

  30. Improve employment outcomes for older South Australians, through measures that support:
         - flexible work arrangements;
         - skills development;
         - development and implementation of older worker employment strategies;
         - embedding of age diversity within workforces; and
         - modelling best practice on attracting, developing, and retaining older workers.

  31. Trial a mid-career check and planning service for people aged 50 and over, focused on planning ahead, upskilling and retraining and understanding future housing and financial goals.

  32. Review Workers' Compensation rules, including eligibility for incapacity payments to ensure older workers are not disadvantaged.

    Cost of Living
  33. Pursue a guaranteed adequate income for all older South Australians.

  34. Establish agreements with other state governments to make seniors’ concessions available and consistent Australia-wide.

  35. Legislate to ensure that government services contracted to the private sector will continue to offer concessions on the same basis as has been the practice until privatisation, so that no concession recipient is worse off.

    Digital Divide
  36. Investigate partnership with NBN providers to offer an affordable base-level plan for Seniors Card holders.

  37. Prevent providers from charging extra fees to receive bills in the mail for customers who do not have internet access.

  38. Establish a community hub for older LGBTIQ South Australians.

  39. Support isolated older people to connect with their communities, locally and via interest groups.

  40. Ensure the needs of older people are included in urban planning and design, ranging from universal design standards for adaptable housing to accessibility of transport and community facilities.

  41. Improve access for older people to formal and informal educational opportunities, including:

         - Reinstatement of funding to and expansion of community-based education for older people and improved mechanisms that support older workers to take up skilling and educational opportunities.
         - 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.

  42. Improve access to free public transport for seniors including extending free travel to all times of the day and providing additional connections between public transport services, home and health facilities and other destination.

  43. Encourage and facilitate older people to participate in volunteering.

  44. Increase the awareness of grandparents as carers and encourage support services for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.

(Older People Policy as amended by The Greens SA Policy and Campaigns Council April 2020)