North Queensland not-for-profit Everglow Community Care is calling on the Australian Government to better support aged veterans to ensure they can safely stay independent in their own homes for longer.
Everglow Community Care CEO Wayne Crase said there is a cohort of veterans who have been forgotten in the transition from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) to My Aged Care, when their care needs increase once they reach the age of 65.
“Unfortunately, they’re then being put back at the bottom of the queue and have to start all over again with lengthy assessment and approvals processes. It means services such as domestic assistance, personal care and safety-related home and garden maintenance are not funded at the appropriate level while veterans are forced to the back of a waiting queue,” Mr Crase said.
“The situation makes no sense, particularly for those who in many cases have been receiving government services and assistance for many years prior under DVA.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic isolating our aged veterans even further, the in-house services provided by government have never been more important to mental health, self-esteem and general feelings of self-worth.”
There are currently more than 112,000 Australians sitting on the waiting list for home care packages through My Aged Care.
Everglow Community Care has written to Herbert MP and Veteran Phillip Thompson OAM in the hope of enacting positive change.
“We’d like to see the Australian Government seriously consider implementing a transitional framework from DVA to My Aged Care to streamline the process and make it as easy as possible,” Mr Crase said.
“We have elderly veterans who have served their nation in Vietnam and Korea, who are waiting needlessly and without the appropriate levels of support to help them to navigate a system that is really quite complex.
“Currently, I’m helping my Father make this transition and it’s been incredibly difficult. These are people who want to look after themselves and have pride in their home and when they can’t do that it is very, very hard for them.
“We need to be doing everything we can to support these people to safely stay in their own homes for longer.”