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More Government commitment needed to ease seniors’ struggles

20 Feb 2018

COTA NT attended the Chief Minister’s function on Monday, where he outlined his Government’s $1.75 billion infrastructure spend to kickstart the NT economy. It would appear there is something for everyone, coupled with the tourism expenditure.

While this is excellent news, COTA NT, on behalf of our seniors who are struggling both economically, socially and with various health issues, will continue to lobby for much more commitment to housing, aged care (especially nursing homes) and to address issues involving ageism. A copy of the expenditure is available on the link below for those who are interested.

Chief Minister’s Infrastructure Update February-April 2018

Housing issues

With regard to housing issues, as an example, we have been advised by a few seniors visiting COTA NT recently that their private rental payments, even with the Commonwealth Rental Assistance subsidy, are making it extremely difficult to survive. One example is a pensioner paying over $600 a fortnight in private rental payments – the Commonwealth Rental Assistance amounts to just $60 a week. All these seniors have been on the NT Public Housing wait list for over five years and the wait list is still calculated at nine years! I will be voicing our serious concerns about housing shortages with the Minister.

You can view waiting list times for public housing in the Northern Territory by following the link below,

You may also find of interest the NT government’s commitment to improving housing in remote communities.

Concern over extreme shortage of hospital beds for seniors needed long-term, high care

Shortage of beds for seniors needing long-term care

COTA NT has also received numerous calls from concerned relatives regarding loved ones having to stay in hospital long-term, as there is an extreme shortage of beds available for seniors who need high care in the private sector. With this splash of cash by the NT Government, wouldn’t it make more sense to direct funds enabling the release of more hospital beds through moving long-term patients to a nursing home?

On a lighter note, COTA NT will be raising funds with a screening of a much-loved golden oldie at the Deckchair Cinema on Sunday 13 May. Come and enjoy a night under the stars with us – themed-dressing and singing are a distinct possibility, so stay tuned for our announcement of the film!

Sue Shearer, CEO COTA NT

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