On behalf of the National Council of Women of Victoria (NCWV), I applaud Federal Government for calling for a much needed inquiry into Aged Care. I also thank the National Council of Women of Australia for encouraging Constituent Councils, such as NCWV to make submissions in their own name direct to the Royal Commission. NCWV is an NGO representing some 30 like-minded NGOs and a similar number of Individual members whose purposes are to:
- provide a non-party political, non-sectarian, not-for-profit, umbrella organisation with humanitarian and educational objectives, empowering women and girls and raising awareness of gender equality;
- act as a voice on issues and concerns of women and girls at a State level;
- develop policies and responses on behalf of women and girls on a State-wide basis;
- maintain and strengthen the Association’s relationship with all members;
- link with women in Australia and the International Council of Women (ICW-CIF) through the National Council of Women of Australia and contribute to the implementation of their plans of action and policies.
With these purposes in mind, NCWV is alarmed at the abuse that many elderly citizens receive whether it be in residential care or living at home, therefore is pleased to be able to make comment on the care of the elderly. Three points that form the basis of good care negating abuse and discrimination of the elderly are:
- To be treated with respect and dignity should be at the forefront of all interactions with the elderly. Recognition of their abilities and contribution to society is essential and continued contribution to be encouraged.
- Recognition for the care of the elderly as being a highly specialised profession. Staff need to be valued and treated with dignity, otherwise how can one expect them to show compassion to the elderly under their care. The care of the elderly is a highly skilled profession and needs to be recognised by all as such, including the operators of aged care facilities and at-home aged care packages.
- Requirement that education and good training for all involved in all fields of the care of the elderly. Staff should receive good, appropriate training and remuneration, as for other specialties in health and nursing care.