Jesuit Social Services welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. We acknowledge the detailed and complex nature of the Commission’s deliberations and its attention to sensitive issues impacting older Australians.
Our submission draws attention to two contexts – the experience and care of older Australians in prisons, and of older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Jesuit Social Services highlights the increasing population of older people in Australian prisons (an increase of 79 per cent since 2009), and we emphasise that homeless and incarcerated people and those experiencing disadvantage age prematurely and often have needs commensurate with ageing populations, despite being younger.
Drawing on our experience in the Northern Territory, we also emphasise the need for the aged care system to support older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to live on country and highlight the harmful intergenerational consequences of the failure to do so.
In these context, we make several recommendations aimed at supporting the health and wellbeing of older people in prisons, and of older First Nations people and their families.