Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) CEO Sean Rooney says a symbol of our country’s success is the growing number of older Australians, who must be respected and revered to ensure a stronger and better nation.

Addressing the 2019 LASA Congress in Adelaide, he said improving ageing futures through longer, healthier and more rewarding lives must be celebrated.

“More Australians living longer means more opportunities for them to enrich our communities, our economy and our country,” Mr Rooney said.

“Respect means not only acknowledging their legacies, but welcoming their continuing contributions through families and social interaction, professional and workforce engagement and volunteering.

“While growing older brings with it changes and challenges for individuals, we must change our thinking to move the idea of ageing from being a burden to a being bonus, a revered part of our longer lives.”

He said shifting our mindset from ‘aged care’ system to ‘ageing well’ nation would enable increased respect for older Australians, address ageism and elder abuse, and realise the true value of age-friendly communities.

“Ageing well is about interactions between all ages because life is a shared journey, not a set of boxes that generations are locked within,” Mr Rooney said.

“By recognising and celebrating every older person as an individual, with their own hopes, desires and fears, wisdom and insights, and respecting their present needs and future aspirations, we will be best placed to prevent the failures and right the wrongs of identified by the Royal Commission into aged care quality and safety.”

LASA is contributing to the national conversation to realise these changes, with the Royal Commission Into Aged Care Quality and Safety amplifying and emphasising the importance of the discussion.

“As a leader in the age services sector LASA is committed to a new approach,” Mr Rooney said.

“One that meets the needs of every older Australian – regardless of their location, wealth or social status – for a future that delivers care, support, services and accommodation with quality, safety and compassion, always.

“By respecting older people we are saying to all Australians: You matter, what you do in your life matters and, as you age, we’ll be here to make sure you continue to matter.”

He said Royal Commission was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get things right.

“It’s imperative that when we look back down the road, we’re able to say that was the turning point, where we moved from the blame game – where providers of age services were seen to be the bulk of the problem – to working alongside each other for real and sustained reform that sees providers as a fundamental part of the solution.

“On this critical journey, we are absolutely committed to a better ageing future, built on respect and partnership between families, communities, providers and governments.”

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, 56% of our Members are not-for-profit providers, 36% are for-profit providers and 8% 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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Contact: Nick Way Ph 0419 835 449 nickw@lasa.asn.au