The Royal Commission into Aged Care has heard that different sectors of the community must be more responsible for helping elderly people in at-home care.
The Royal Commission into Aged Care has heard that different sectors of the community must be more responsible for helping elderly people in at-home care.

Call for wider community responsibility on elderly people

Local government, community libraries, and local newspapers all have to work together to stop elder abuse in the community by keeping "as many eyes as possible" behind the closed doors of at home care, the Royal Commission into Aged Care heard on Tuesday.

In its fourth hearing, the inquiry heard from Australia's Aged Care and Disability Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald AM who called on the community to band together to end elder abuse.

"To really support older people, you need to have that network at a local level. We have to re-engage the community in being a part of the solution," Mr Fitzgerald.

"(Community engagement) is something Australia has lost. COVID has shown us beyond any shadow of doubt that a community doesn't work well without that connectedness."

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Mr Fitzgerald said it is crucial that specific agencies are set up to facilitate "community connectedness" for elderly Australians, particularly those receiving care within their home.

The Commissioner added that unlike residential aged care facilities, the process of monitoring home care can be complicated because it occurs in a private residence.

He also levelled criticism at the government's My Aged Care portal which provides information on ageing to families, carers, and citizens.

"My Aged Care is not well positioned within the system because it sits by itself with a very constrained set of functions. My Aged Care is a poorly constructed concept in terms of the structure," he said.

Originally published as Call for wider community responsibility on elderly people


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