Sacred Heart Mission welcomes the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, and has taken the opportunity to provide a formal submission.
We urge the Royal Commission to recognise the specific needs of ageing people with histories of homelessness and trauma, break down barriers to access to the aged care services system, and consider how best to provide specialist aged care services for those who require it.
“Australia needs an aged care system that meets the needs of people who have experienced homelessness and chronic disadvantage,” CEO Cathy Humphrey says.
“The system must be flexible and responsive, and be able to recognise when individuals require aged care services under the age of 65 as a result of complex factors such as homelessness.”
However, the aged care system must also be supported by a national focus on ensuring access to safe, affordable long-term housing, and significant investment into housing supply, with growth targets. This is essential to prevent and reduce homelessness now and into the future.
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is extremely important to the clients and staff of Sacred Heart Mission. Our submission recommends a number of improvements to the aged care system, and highlights our experiences delivering best practice and innovative service models for people who have complex needs.
In particular, Sacred Heart Community – a home for people with histories of homelessness, mental illness and disadvantage who require 24-hour care and support as they age.
SHM specialises in service delivery to older Australians who are experiencing chronic disadvantage and we employ specialist practice approaches, including a commitment to harm minimisation and social inclusion.
With our partnering organisation, we seek to work with the Royal Commission and the government to ensure this growing cohort, who experience inequity because of poor access, poor understanding and poor experiences within the aged care sector, receives the services and supports they need.
In addition to our submission in September 2019, we were pleased to collaborate with a broad range of organisations to prepare a joint submission into the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
These organisations are: the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Catholic Social Services Victoria, Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG), Jesuit Social Services, Prague House, St Mary’s House of Welcome and VincentCare.
Stay up to date with our monthly newsletter, Heartbeat