Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) CEO Sean Rooney says more respect for older Australians is needed in order for the nation to create better outcomes for our ageing population.

Addressing the Health Metrics World Conference in Melbourne today, Mr Rooney said the task of realising better ageing futures for older Australians was of national importance and required transformation on a national level.

He said with a rapidly ageing population, Australia needs to have a national conversation about ageing and aged care, starting with the respect shown for older Australians.

“The tone of most discussions regarding ageing is framed as a problem to be solved or a burden to be borne,” he said.

“To move forward effectively, we need to reframe the discussion. The public discourse should move from a focus on aged care to a focus on ageing well.

“The issues of ageing and aged care are of national importance and we need to engage all Australians in what it means to age in 21st century Australia.

“This will allow our society to confront key issues such as ageism, elder abuse, retirement ages and retirement incomes in a meaningful and respectful way.”

Mr Rooney said a national discussion will enable us as a society to understand these issues and reach agreement on how we can best enable and support the growing numbers of older Australians to age well, to continue to contribute to our society and the economy, and be appropriately cared for and supported.

“Older Australians want to be respected for the contribution they have made to the prosperity of our country through raising families, paying taxes, building businesses and contributing to their communities.  They want to be valued for their wisdom, lived experiences and knowledge,” he said.

“Whilst there is much that the age services sector can and is doing to address current failures in the aged care system, there is a bigger conversation to be had across all communities to realise better ageing futures for older Australians.

“By re-assessing our preconceived notions and biases regarding ageing and older persons, we stand a better chance of taking positive steps to improve the status and well-being of older Australians, now and into the future.” 

About Leading Age Services Australia (LASA)

LASA is the national association for all providers of age services across residential care, home care and retirement living/seniors housing. Our purpose is to enable high performing, respected, and sustainable age services that support older Australians to age well by providing care, support and accommodation with quality, safety and compassion – always.

We represent providers of age services of all types and sizes located across Australia’s metropolitan, regional and rural areas. Consistent with the overall industry profile, 57% of our Members are not-for-profit providers, 33% are for-profit providers and 10% are government providers.

Our diverse and representative membership gives LASA the ability to speak with credibility and authority on issues of importance to older Australians and the age services industry.

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Media Contact: David O’Sullivan Ph 0427 138 024  E davido@lasa.asn.au