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HACC program not meeting needs of the elderly



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M edia Releases Jim CarltonS H A D O W M IN IS T E R FO R T H E A G E D HACC PROGRAM NOT MEETING NEEDS OF THE ELDERLY

Shadow Minister for the Aged, Jim Carlton, said today that the Coalition agreed with the findings of a study published by the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of NSW that the Home and Community Care program, aimed at maintaining the elderly

in their own homes, is inadequate.

'We know that there is dissatisfaction with the HACC program', said the Shadow Minister.

' Its resources are insufficient to meet the needs of all who require help at home. Resources are not being distributed

equitably between regions in some States. Not all the target population are aware of the program, which is presented in

different ways in different States.

And - most important - it is not reaching some of the people most in need, particularly younger people with disabilities.'

Mr Carlton agreed that another major problem is that the program is disjointed and that each service is provided by a different individual.

Mr Carlton gave as an example an ageing person who was looking after his spouse who had to deal with more than 12 different

persons calling in a week to provide services such as transport, home nursing and personal care.

He had to schedule in his calendar when those persons would call; he had to cope with changes in the schedule; he had to cope with a different taxi driver every day to take his spouse to a

dementia care centre, and, ultimately, he had to cope with the transfer of the spouse by taxi to nursing home accommodation.

'The shortcomings of the HACC program and the impact of those shortcomings on the quality of life of elderly people and their relatives are unacceptable', said Mr Carlton.

'Also, valuable resources are being wasted on infrastructure and staff costs of a myriad of small, competing agencies.'

Mr Carlton said that a Coalition Government would review HACC insfrastrueture costs, examine with the States a system whereby co-ordinated services are provided to those in need, and examine a system which provides adequate funding for those services.

Canberra, 22 June 1992 Inquiries: Jim Carlton (06) 277 4152 (06) 286 4793

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