Get your voice heard through new advocacy network
THE new, free and nationwide support network is being put into place today to drive the representation of older Australian rights and needs within the community.
Federal Government aged care minister Ken Wyatt said the newly established Older Persons Advocacy Network will immediately provide strong local voices for individuals in need.
Australians aged 55 and over who are encountering serious frustrations or need guidance in navigating their aged care rights will be able to turn to the OPAN.
"A key element of our ageing and aged care reform agenda is empowering older Australians ensuring they have voices to speak up for them when they need it most," Mr Wyatt said.
"Through OPAN's network of nine service delivery organisations - one in each state and the ACT and two in the Northern Territory, in Darwin and Alice Springs - we are now providing a nationally consistent model of independent advocacy.
"This supports all elder Australians including those with varied needs who might be living with a disability or dementia, are care leavers, or are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds."
Funding of $25.7 million will be available over the next three years for OPAN to deliver the new National Aged Care Advocacy Program.
"The aim of the service is simple - providing the free, independent and confidential advocacy support and information our elder Australians deserve," Mr Wyatt said.
He said preventing and addressing elder abuse was also a priority for the government, and OPAN would play a role in tackling this issue, as well.
"In addition to our $15 million elder abuse election commitment, I have provided OPAN with an additional $1 million towards its work on continuing elder abuse prevention and support activities," Mr Wyatt added.
Older people, their families or carers in need of advocacy should go to www.opan.com.au or call 1800 700 600.