A new Aged Care Workforce Research Centre will be established with $34 million in funding if the Liberals are re-elected.
The centre will research different ways to deliver care to older Australian and also train and educate aged care providers.
To combat loneliness among seniors, around a third of all seniors are living alone, the Liberals promise to invest $10 million developing a Seniors Connected Program.
The program will involve working with local community groups, schools, sporting clubs and grassroots organisations, and encouraging elderly people to volunteer.
Additionally, the Liberals intend to expand the Community Visitors Scheme to connect people in aged care homes and seniors living in their own home with their local community, giving young Australians the opportunity to make an intergenerational connection with older Australians.
Going into the future, the Liberals are estimating the number of individuals accessing aged care will grow to 3.5 million by 2050 from this year’s 1.3 million.
Liberals have promised to prioritise growth in aged care with a goal of reaching 475,000 workers in aged care by 2025. This will include growth in personal care workers, nurses, support staff and allied health professionals.
This promise to support job growth is backed by a pilot program for a $41.7 million Skills Organisations package.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says, “This funding will deliver better support and care for older Australians while ensuring we build the workforce to meet the demands of an ageing population.
“As a nation, we must continue to support our older Australians and I remain absolutely committed to doing more.
“Older Australians have built our country and they deserve our respect and support for the choices they want to make.”
This announcement follows concerns from the country’s peak bodies, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) and Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA), about both major parties and their pre-election silence towards policy changes or announcements for the aged care sector.
Only in the last week have major parties started to announce promises if they are elected into office.
The Australian Labor Party has pledged a free pensioner dental plan, aged care worker pay raise to be implemented after the Royal Commission into Aged Care, and a shift-by-shift nurse to patient ratio system.
The Liberal Party has pledged a range of dementia funding, along with the recent announcement of a research centre, loneliness program and aged care workforce growth plans.