Federal Shadow Minister for Ageing visits Benetas Colton Close
30 June 2014

Federal Shadow Minister for Ageing visits Benetas Colton Close

Benetas was pleased to welcome Federal Shadow Minister for Ageing, the Hon. Shayne Neumann MP, to Benetas Colton Close in Glenroy in early May.

Benetas extended the invitation to Minister Neumann as part of its commitment to advocating on behalf of older Victorians to ensure their voices are heard and needs are central in the debate about the future of aged care services.

Benetas CEO Sandra Hills said the visit gave Mr Neumann crucial insight into the needs and opinions of older people.

“As a not-for-profit provider, we believe our role is to not only provide quality services but also improve the wellbeing of all older people and ensure they have a positive experience of ageing,” said Ms Hills.

“One of the most significant ways we can do this is by inviting key decision makers to take a look inside our facilities, and to meet face to face with the clients and staff who are most impacted by policy.”

Mr Neumann’s visit coincided with Benetas responding to a number of changes proposed in the Federal Government’s new Budget.

While the Budget brings with it some welcome changes, some elements, such as increasing the cost of access to primary health care services and cuts to respite options, raise concern.

“The cost of health care is already a major issue for many older people,” said Ms Hills. “Increasing the cost of a GP consultation and pharmaceuticals, especially for older people with chronic illnesses, might deter them from getting the care they need when they need it.”

“There is also an urgent need for respite options for people in the community. We have seen an increase in people employed outside of the home performing the role of primary carer, so we must be able to provide respite support to these people as they need it.”

“Benetas is committed to advocating for the needs of older people, their carers and families, and will continue to do so to ensure they are properly supported. We welcome some of the changes in the Federal Budget, but there are still a lot of questions that need answering.”