A State Budget Responding To The Needs Of Older Victorians
Council on the Ageing (COTA) advocates for older Victorians and has been consulting widely on their issues of concern.
Jack Sach, CEO of COTA Victoria said: “Increasing longevity is a success story and many older people are enjoying good health and longer working lives, but for many life is challenging. We are looking for positive action from the upcoming Victorian Budget particularly in the areas of housing affordability and the cost of water, gas and electricity. We also remain focused and concerned about elder abuse which can take many forms – financial, psychological, family or domestic violence and others.”
Housing affordability: the need for a comprehensive Older Persons’ Housing Strategy.
Housing affordability is a major problem for the whole community, but for older people in the private rental market times are very tough and some are being forced into homelessness. Lack of social and public housing stock is the issue. COTA and the Housing for the Aged Action Group are organising a Housing Forum in April to actively involve older people in the development of an Older Persons’ Housing Strategy for Victoria to be presented to Government.
Review the adequacy of utilities concessions
Adequate and affordable heating in winter and cooling in summer is essential for good health. The cost of utilities is prohibitive for many older people on low fixed incomes.
There is a need to review concessions currently available to eligible older people for gas, electricity and water.
Provide funds to raise community awareness of elder abuse.
Elder abuse is an issue affecting approximately six per cent of people over 60 years. It is a largely hidden and underreported part of Australia’s family violence epidemic. Seniors Rights Victoria, a service of COTA Victoria, has extensive knowledge of elder abuse. Evidence on elder abuse was heard by the Royal Commission into Family Violence, and additional resources are now needed to prevent and respond to these issues.