In their awfully botched vaccine rollout the Morrison Government seem to have negligently missed a HUGE number of our older citizens who receive aged care services.

A thread.

Govt promised all aged care workers and residents would be vaccinated by Easter. We’re now in late July.

They still have gaps in vaccinating all nursing home residents and a whopping 57% of residential aged care workers are still waiting for their first jab.

But what is super concerning is the complacency and radio silence from the Morrison Government on the almost 1 million older Australians who receive care at home.

By the very definition of needing support at home these Australians are precisely the ones we should be most vigilant about because they are frailer than most. Many aren’t mobile & face challenges getting out & about - for example to a vaccination hub, or even to the GP.

Take a second to imagine how those older Australians are feeling right now, with a highly infectious strain of Covid-19 on the loose again in various parts of the country.  

Many are feeling incredibly nervous about the next few weeks and months.

Many of them would rely on services like Meals On Wheels deliveries, regular in-person delivery of prescription medication, a cleaner and specialist care.  

Many require the type of care & support that involves multiple outsiders coming into their home.

And many are wondering how, when and where they get their Covid-19 vaccinations - because quite a lot of them will have issues trying to book an appointment and then trouble travelling to it to get their jab.

They assumed, quite sensibly, that the Government would have something in mind for them to make it easier (but they don't!).

And they’ll also be wondering whether the dedicated workers and volunteers who look after them, who literally come into their homes, will be vaccinated as well.

Because these workers and volunteers go in and out of these frail older Australians’ houses all the time.

This is the problem - the Morrison Govt seems to have no idea how many of the almost 1 million older Australians receiving care in their own homes are vaccinated.

They have no idea how many of the workers and volunteers who provide them with care are vaccinated either.

To put this into perspective - 83.5% of all older Australians receiving aged care do so in their own homes, not a residential aged care facility. And over a third of the aged care workforce works to provide care at home.

But in their interviews and press conferences the Morrison Govt is pretending that aged care only constitutes those in residential care homes.

This is complacent, wrong, dishonest and just an attempt to cover up their own incompetence and poor line of sight.

Older Australians helped build this country. They worked hard, paid their taxes and raised their families.

After a lifetime of contributing to their communities and to Australia, they’ve earned the right to be kept safe.

But the Morrison Govt keeps letting them down.

We desperately need a plan to fix this situation and ensure these people are kept safe.  Especially given they are in their own homes, where all of us expect to be safest of all!

The Govt need to tell us how they’re going to determine exactly how many of these older Australians receiving care at home have had their vaccinations. They need to tell us how many of the workers & volunteers who come into regular contact with them have been vaccinated.

They then need to tell us what the targets and deadlines are for vaccinating the rest of these frail older Australians who get care at home and they need to tell us how they’re going to do it safely and effectively.

What is the proactive outreach plan?

Targets and proactive plans create urgency and urgency is what we desperately need right now.

Scott Morrison has said the vaccine rollout “isn’t a race”.

He is so wrong. Today, more than half the country is in lockdown due to outbreaks across the nation.

This includes country towns that have large aged care populations and are located a long way from vaccination hubs. 

It includes hundreds of thousands of Australians who are in the aged care system but are not in an aged care facility.

This is a race. And older Australians are the victims of the Morrison Government's massive incompetence.  

The scandal is that so many of them are being denied peace of mind in their own homes!


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More from @ClareONeilMP

12 May
They called it a 'once in a generation reform' but the Government's #agedcare package falls way short.

The Royal Commission gave them a clear roadmap to fix the crisis but they've left recommendations on key issues ignored or fobbed off.

These are my biggest concerns 👇
First - nothing will really change without reform to the workforce.

There was nothing to improve wages for overstretched, undervalued aged care workers.

How do we attract the needed 700,000 workers to the sector when these workers remain some of the lowest paid in our economy?
Second - Morrison is spending $3.2 billion increasing the basic daily fee for residential providers but doing nothing to ensure that money is tied to better food and care.

Two thirds of our aged care residents are malnourished or at risk of malnourishment. It's an emergency.
Read 7 tweets
26 Jun 20
The COVID recession is having a particularly devastating impact on Australian women in lower skilled work - but new data shows us that these women were already doing it really tough before COVID hit.

What will the future of work look like for these women?

The share of women in the labour market who did not study beyond high school or have a Certificate II or III is 2.8m Australian women. Of those women, almost 600,000 were either under-employed or unemployed before COVID. Image
If you fly over the underemployment numbers at a national level, you can't see the dire situation for these women at ground level.

Inadequate hours of work is an endemic, longstanding part of their working lives. The labour market is just not meeting their needs. Not even close.
Read 8 tweets

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