Ageing to our Full Potential
The Australian aged care sector is facing one of its most challenging times in history. Our population is rapidly ageing, and by 2057, it is projected there will be 8.8 million older Australians, which is about 22 percent of the population. Meanwhile, the Australian aged care system is in crisis and facing the prospect of being unable to give older people access to the care they need, when they need it.
Ageist stereotypes of older people depict them as a burden on society, and fails to recognise the inherent value of each person, irrespective of their age. Older people often need to wait to receive the level of care and support they require in their home and those who have high care needs often have to accept being isolated in, or from, their communities.
The current aged care system is not viable or sustainable in its current form as it no longer meets the needs and expectations of its consumers and the Australian community more broadly. It does not adequately cater to the different care needs of older Australians, and may not support their physical, mental, emotional, social, cultural, sexual and spiritual wellbeing.
At UnitingCare Australia, we believe all people should experience compassion and dignity as they age, and exercise their rights as fully participating members of society.
Regardless of age, people have the right to be treated with compassion and have access to the resources and support they need, when they need them.
We advocate for a future-proofed aged care system that meets the needs of all, enabling the flexibility of services to evolve and adapt to change. In particular, our focus is on health, disability and social supports that are accessible to all people regardless of their age and personal situation, to enable each of us to age to our full potential.
UnitingCare Australia is a member of the Australian Aged Care Collaboration (AACC) , a group of six aged care peak bodies: Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA), Anglicare Australia, Baptist Care Australia, Catholic Health Australia, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) and UnitingCare Australia. Our National Director, Claerwen Little, is Chair of the AACC.
Together, we represent more than 1,000 organisations that are responsible for about 70 percent of the services delivered to the 1.3 million Australians receiving aged care, either at home or in communal residential settings.
Uniting Friends of Ageing
UnitingCare Australia, in collaboration with the wider Uniting Church, has established a grassroots network of Uniting Church members to contribute to making the 148 recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission recommendations a reality.
Uniting Friends of Ageing is a national network of engaged Uniting Church members, passionate about the future of every Australian, determined to contribute to giving our older citizens the rights and care that they deserve.
Members of Uniting Friends of Ageing receive relevant and timely information to do with ageing and aged care. Members also have the opportunity to help shape UnitingCare Australia’s community response to how we, as a nation, care for our older citizens as well as share prayers for older people, aged care programs, residents, and staff.
Local church members have a vital role to play in contributing to transforming ageing and aged care. Join Uniting Friends of Ageing and be part of a conversation and continued social exchange, stay informed, and join us at the forefront of ageing and aged care reform in Australia.
Our Vision for an Older Australia
The Australian Government’s record funding increase of $17.7 billion over the next four years gives us hope for the future of ageing in Australia – but we must not be complacent. The aged care workforce needs more training, more staff, and fair standards of pay. A new Aged Care Act must break with the past and be based on human rights.
Together we can ensure that these recommendations become a reality.
Older Persons Sunday - 2nd October 2022
UnitingCare Australia is encouraging Uniting Church congregations to recognise the human rights and dignity of older people in worship on the 2nd of October 2022, the first Sunday after the United Nations’ International Day of Older Persons.
Older Persons Sunday is a great opportunity to extend our support to aged care, the dedicated staff, and treasured residents in a way which connects with what local churches do every week – gather for worship and prayer.
Resources have been created for congregations which include a suggested Service of the Word and several prayers.
A Theology of Ageing
This theology of ageing is a public theology reflecting the context of aged care reform.
It reflects the journey of the Uniting Church’s participation in the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, and its ongoing involvement in aged care reform that will lead to universal access to care and support in Australia. UnitingCare Australia’s ongoing participation in the formation of the future aged care system reflects the Uniting Church’s commitment to integrity in public life, the proclamation of truth, and seeking justice for the most vulnerable.