Thursday, July 11, 2024

Tag: Aged care

Retirement Villages: The Housing ‘Secret Weapon’ Hiding In Plain Sight

Australia is ageing, and this presents challenges around housing, care and affordability. This is more important than ever, given there are currently 2 million people over the age of 75 around the country, but by 2040, this cohort will increase to 3.4 million.

This means there will be an additional 1.4 million people over 75 within the next two decades looking for accommodation that prioritises care and support.

We know that housing supply is challenging today and so is the pressure on residential aged care – a sector that is often confused with retirement living. But our changing demographic outlook around Australia will make things even harder.

Importantly, through the Retirement Living Council’s (RLC) Better Housing for Better Health report, we now know that retirement villages across the country save the Commonwealth Government a billion dollars every year by delaying entry into taxpayer-funded aged care facilities.

A Housing Crisis Is Unfolding For Many Older People

The Australian welfare system, including the Age Pension, was designed on the assumption that older people own their home and can age there.

But the latest National Seniors Australia research has shown this to be far from true for many of us.

In February this year, the 11th National Seniors Social Survey, or NSSS-11, asked more than 5,300 people aged 50 and over about their housing situation.

It revealed housing affordability concerns plague two-thirds of us, and more than half are living in homes unsuitable for later life because they need modifications, security of tenure, or assistance to manage their size.

The findings are consistent with the alarm bells already ringing across the country about rental and mortgage crises, showing they affect older people as well as the young.

Read the original article at nationalseniors.com.au

NDIS Participants Unable to Access House Cleaning Services

A recent news article in Fairfax newspapers discussed a nationwide shortage of domestic cleaners due to the coronavirus pandemic. The labour shortage is indirectly impacting busy families who employ cleaners to help with domestic chores; and, more significantly, is causing genuine hardship for “vulnerable people who have funding for NDIS cleaning services, aged care or workers compensation packages.”

The article contains interviews with house cleaning business owners who have struggled to find staff. The recruitment problem is partly due to low wages, but also due to labour shortages caused by border closures — a lot of cleaning staff have traditionally been international students or backpackers on working holiday visas, however those people have not been allowed to enter Australia during the pandemic.

A reader’s comment on the article also suggests that outdoor home services like mowing and gardening have had trouble with staff shortages. However, a quick search online finds that there are other businesses providing services such as NDIS gutter cleaning services and residential window cleaning that do not appear to be impacted.

A government spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs who was interviewed in the article said that the department is “clearing the backlog in applications” from international students and backpackers to enter the country. But that statement sounds like hot air for the businesses experiencing staff shortages, and for the NDIS participants who are suffering because they cannot access important cleaning services.  Does anyone seriously think that international students and backpackers who have been locked out of Australia for 2 years are going to take up low-paid cleaning jobs as soon as they are allowed to enter the country? Or are they more likely to do what they are entering the country to do, i.e. start studying or go backpacking?

Let’s hope that all NDIS participants across Australia are able to access affordable and reliable cleaning services again soon.

Labour shortages are impacting NDIS participants in need of house cleaning services

 

Government Report Card on Community Services, Housing and Homelessness Released

The Productivity Commission has published the first set of data for its 2022 Report on Government Services (ROGS), with the goal of sharing data across jurisdictions to improve future service delivery.

A range of indicators were used to assess the performance of governments in delivering the 17 services, including equity, efficiency and effectiveness of services.

Data on community services and housing and homelessness were the first to be released, canvassing aged care, disability, child protection and youth justice.

Generation Share: why more older Australians are living in share houses

An increasing number of older Australians are living in share housing. A relatively new group to emerge on the share-housing scene, they are choosing to share for financial reasons, but finding unexpected social benefits.

Share housing has traditionally been associated with student housing and media depictions of the share house as dysfunctional, chaotic, “He Died with a Falafel in His Hand” scenarios. But a growing number of older people are sharing housing.

This trend is part of the growth in share housing across an increasingly broad demographic as professionals aged in their 30s, 40s and onwards continue to share house or return to share housing into later life. Generation Rent is fast becoming “Generation Share”.

Discover the full article on The Conversation.

How can we prevent financial abuse of the elderly?

Throughout Australia older people are losing their savings, property and homes through financial abuse, usually at the hands of persons close to them such as an adult child or grandchild.

A sense of entitlement, ‘Inheritance impatience’ or opportunism can encourage people to ‘help themselves’ to an older person’s assets.

Elder abuse is not a new problem. It has been occurring in Australia and elsewhere for generations – but its only now that serious steps are being taken to address it.

While the extent of elder abuse in Australia is unknown, conservative estimates suggest at least 9% of older Australians suffer from financial abuse. However, we know that because of the hidden nature of the problem, the majority of cases go unreported.

Sadly, a majority of elder financial abuse occurs within families, and is defined as the illegal or improper use of a person’s finances or property by another person with whom they have a relationship implying trust.

Read the original article on The Conversation website.