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Byron Shire
September 25, 2023

Home care packages

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One would think that after the Royal Commission into Aged Care exposed the deplorable standard of care and a system characterised by neglect and elder abuse that it should have been a wakeup call for government.

But here we are four years later, and it is the government, through bureaucrats in the Department of Health and Aged Care, who are subjecting recipients of home care packages to what can only be described as elder abuse.

Let me explain.

The government has a program to assist older Australians to stay in their homes rather than enter residential care. Not only does this save the government billions of dollars each year, but most people would rather stay at home.

These home care packages deliberately exclude the funding of heating and cooling systems and the electricity to run them. For older people, or those with medical conditions who are unable to regulate their body temperature, the ability to heat or cool their home is not only a necessity but a human right.

How is it that these so-called public servants in their undoubtably air-conditioned offices are able to dictate to vulnerable and frail Australians that they must live in conditions that are both detrimental to their health and quality of life?

With cost-of-living pressures, massive price hikes in electricity and limited incomes, many home care package recipients simply cannot afford to heat and cool their homes.

As global warming leads to both more intense and longer heat waves, as we have already seen in the northern hemisphere in recent months, Australia is poised for a long, hot summer.

How many older Australians will die from heat stress this summer, due to the fact they can’t afford to cool their homes?

Just like Robodebt we have overpaid bureaucrats subjecting the poorest in society to abuse.

It’s a national disgrace and needs to be called out.

Scott Hyams, Mullumbimby

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