Source: The Australian, Wednesday, 17 April, 1996, p.3
By JOHN KERIN THE nation's most rapidly ageing State, South Australia, unveiled an $800 million plan yesterday to overhaul aged care services and change negative community attitudes. The Premier, Mr Brown, hailed the program, Ageing: A 10-Year Plan for South Australia, as the most "comprehensive whole-of-government" approach adopted in Australia, which was developed after extensive community consultation. With the State's population of over-65s expected to reach 14 per cent, or 223,000, by 2006, the State had a "chance to show innovation and foresight in dealing with ageing issues". The bulk of the funds would be spent in the area of direct service provision to the elderly through the Home and Community Care program, funded at federal and State level and covering provision of services such as domiciliary care, respite care, nursing and meals on wheels. However, the program also provided for an extensive study of the future transport needs of the ageing, and involved the Office of the Ageing in developing a structure for collaborative aged care research between universities and the private sector, along with the development of recreation programs. It would involve the development of a pilot project for the involvement of older people in schools, a campaign to challenge the stereotypes of the aged in the community, scholarships for seniors in higher education, and the development of user-friendly technologies for the aged. Legislation affecting the elderly would be reviewed to ensure the rights of older people were strengthened in such areas as mediation, advocacy and complaints, age discrimination and financial protection. A Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing would be set up to monitor implementation of the plan which would be regularly reviewed. "Central to the planning for aged services is the need to preserve independence, dignity and choice of lifestyle," Mr Brown said. "This period will provide enormous challenge at both State and federal levels."
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