of regulatory bodies and accreditation standards in place, abuse of older Australians in aged care still takes place at an alarming level.
The Problem: Neglect and assaults in aged care
The Solution: Greysafe believes there is a need to overhaul background checks, training and assessment of aged care workers and carers. We call on regulators to establish an aged care registered offenders list and to increase the amount of random inspections of aged care facilities.
We believe there is a need to quickly establish a new independent watchdog with increased powers to investigate cases of abuse and assaults in aged care facilities and recommend charges. We are concerned that any new laws requiring approved aged care providers to notify an independent oversight body of an allegation or a suspicion of a serious incident or assault in an aged care facility, is open to manipulation. Self-regulation and reporting will not work as well as having independent age care inspectors employed to conduct more regular random checks and investigations and undertake discussions with aged care residents and families.
There should be a zero tolerance of aged care facilities that do not meet acceptable care standards. Those that fail to meet required standards should be named publicly via media outlets, similar to how governments inform the public of individuals and companies found guilty of poor workplace or food safety standards.
The Problem: Scams and cost of living exploitation of the elderly
Greysafe believes all door to door selling should be outlawed across Australia. There are already enough sales and marketing options available for small and large businesses to promote their services – such as online, traditional advertising in publications, local and national newspapers and in store/shopping centre locations – without the need to cold call vulnerable elderly Australians at home.
Aged pensioners should only be required to have to pay a set percentage of their fortnightly pension on life essential utilities such as electricity, gas, water etc. We call on State and Territory governments to work with the Federal Government on developing a policy to limit the amount of money pensioners have to pay for essential services.
We believe utility providers should be required to develop Plain English and transparent utilities bills and information about their services. Older Australians should be able to access a government mandated maximum default price for basic life essential services such as electricity, gas and water.
Greysafe is developing its own national database of Trusted Trades and Services that we intend to share with our membership and online. Similar to the motoring body’s approved repairers͛ list, we are developing a nationwide list of Greysafe approved ’Trusted Trades and Service Providers’ with stringent criteria to ensure compliance with service claims offered.
The Problem: Exorbitant retirement village fees and charges
The Solution: Greysafe is calling on the ACCC to investigate the exorbitant fees and charges that form part of existing contracts signed by retirement village residents in for profit facilities.
We are calling for the implementation of a simplified, standard ‘Plain English’ contract for all future retirement village residential purchases, for the eradication of exit fees and for the implementation of a guaranteed ‘no loss on investment’ sale price when a village resident or their family need to sell the property.
We believe it should be mandatory for all retirement village residents to receive free legal advice from a lawyer of their choosing prior to signing a contract, with the cost of the legal advice paid for by the retirement village operator.