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Retirement home issues needs work

4 Jul 2017

NT needs a consumer body to listen to complaints from retirement village residents

As some seniors are aware, COTA attended a national policy conference in Canberra last month, which was very interesting.

Issues discussed included the low take-up of e-health by seniors. It is hard to understand why the take-up has been so small, especially in the Territory. The importance of immunisation was also a major talking point. The flu vaccination, along with the one for shingles, are vital for seniors. The shingles vaccination is also free for those aged over 70, and certainly a must.

Some of you might have seen the Four Corners program on retirement villages, screened last Monday. This highlighted the needs for seniors to be totally aware of what the actual daily costs incurred are in retirement homes. COTA NT will be investigating state-by-state legislation and looking for a specific consumer body to hear complaints from retirement village residents in the NT.

We believe there should be a body, like the Residential Tenancy Tribunal, where consumers can be heard. What do our seniors think?

One of the main policy areas addressed at the national conference was housing, with seniors in private rentals being under substantial financial stress, especially our pensioners.

It was quite obvious the federal government, and event state and territory governments, are not willing participants in providing proper public housing. While the economic costs to governments were discussed, the obvious social impact on seniors were swept under the mat, which was disappointing.

However, COTA NT will continue to lobby all tiers of government regarding this important issue.

Sue Shearer, CEO COTA NT

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