Written by: Ita Buttrose AO OBE
I want to invite you to join me in taking part in a revolution – a kind, meaningful one – that will transform the way older people are cared for in our country.
The type of transformation I have in mind will allow more Australians to remain in their own homes as they age and enable older married couples to stay together rather than being separated as they near the end of their life journey, something that happens all too often.
I believe changes like these will go a long way to meeting the baby boomers’ desire to enjoy freedom and independence in their older years.
The boomers always have been at the forefront of change and given their numbers I’d like to see them use their clout to help bring about the revolution in aged care that I believe is long overdue.
I must confess I never thought much about old age until I cared for my father when he was in his 80s. His one big wish was to stay in his own home.
It wasn’t easy as dad had vascular dementia, macular degeneration and hearing loss. I was his principal carer and I organised other carers to be with him when I couldn’t be there. Regardless of several, unexpected upheavals, dad remained at home and died just 10 days before his 90th birthday.
I am sure the fact that he was able to stay in his own home was a contributing factor to his long life in spite of his health challenges.
It would have been so much easier for me to look after him if the Five.Good.Friends. app had existed back then. It is such an innovative approach to ageing in place, in other words staying in your own home. I believe it will change the way traditional in-home care is delivered.
The app combines leading-edge technology with personal service and transparent pricing and is exactly the kind of development that the baby boomers have been hoping for to help them in their older years.
Research tells us that the biggest fear of baby boomers is having to live in an aged care facility. They’re not the only ones. Most people, even those in their 80s and 90s, want to remain in their own homes.
Many baby boomers are now having to organise and manage help and care for their parents and other family members while at the same time, some are having to organise it for themselves. The oldest baby boomers began turning 70 last year.
The Five.Good.Friends.’ app meets their needs and recognises their determination to find a new way to grow old, not only for themselves but also their ageing parents.
Because the Five.Good.Friends.’ app is combined with a local network of Helpers it is the perfect solution for all older Australians, whatever their age, to age in place.
Governments and health experts tell us that ageing at home improves longevity and quality of life. My dad liked living in his own home because he knew where everything was. He liked sitting on his veranda in his comfy chair and more often than not, dosing off in the sun shine. He liked raking up the leaves in his garden. Both simple pleasures that made a great difference to his enjoyment of life.
The Federal Government’s aged care reforms have resulted in significant changes in aged care in Australia with a focus on consumer-directed care, allowing a person to decide what care they want rather than being told what care they will receive.
Ageing is a family challenge – I used to worry about dad all the time. Five.Good.Friends. involves the family, makes it easy to access and organise quality help such as in-home care assistance, garden maintenance, companionship, general assistance around the home even walking the dog.
Getting older suddenly has a new and brighter, fulfilling future.
Ageing should be enlightening and empowering. Most older Australians, including your parents, want to stay in their own home secure and happy with their lifetime memories, some of which no doubt include you and your childhood years.
With the 2017 New Year just under way it’s the ideal time for new changes and initiatives. Why don’t we all get the ball rolling on Australia Day by advocating for Advance Australia care!
(Image: Ita Buttrose AO OBE, courtesy of Ross Coffey)
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