Australia’s ageing population is growing at a rapid rate which has major implications for our health system and our workforce, so we must ensure that government, and the wider community, assist our ageing population with their evolving needs.
What needs to be done:
- Pension - NXT does not support an increase in the pension age, but we do believe older Australians should be both encouraged and supported to be involved in the paid or community service workforce. For those who receive a pension, income tests should be relaxed further so that they can supplement their income without penalty. Community service volunteers should be automatically covered by a government funded insurance scheme.
- Cost-of-Living - Utility cost increases should be pegged to be no greater than the CPI. Any increases above the CPI should be rebated to those on a government pension, or self-funded retirees who have reached the eligible pension age.
- Aged Care - Government policy should encourage and deliver, where possible, affordable, comfortable and well-maintained retirement and aged care accommodation. Developers and providers of retirement accommodation must meet all existing government requirements, as well as be required to provide transition accommodation options for residents who may require low or high care facilities in the future. These transition options should be on, or adjacent to, the existing retirement estate.
- Aged Care Workforce - As our ageing population grows, demand for labour in the aged care sector also increases so we need to encourage employment within the sector.
- Dementia - The amount of people living with dementia continues to rise, and may become the leading cause of death in the near future, so we need to ensure that adequate funding is provided for research into the causes of dementia and preventative measures.