The Neglect of Australia’s Seniors

Who Cares?

I am really concerned about the neglect of Australia’s Seniors.  I am disappointed with the way Australians treat their senior citizens.  “Old people” seem to be isolated, ignored, neglected and not respected.  It appears to be across the board. Terrible neglect.  It is especially significant to see the way those who are not wealthy are continually being treated.  I am making it my mission to change it.

The Royal Commission into Nursing Homes in Australia and the recent events are a big indication of the appalling treatment of our seniors.  The terrible neglect of Australian Seniors is not isolated.  It’s endemic!  I am a senior and concerned about the way I may be treated in the future.

Briefly, my circumstances are that in 2010, I left my marriage, with very little.  Certainly, no funds to buy a house, and as I was in my mid 60’s, employment opportunities were minimal.  For over two years I survived on the Aged Pension and house sitting.  Over the years I have sought  assistance for housing and other resources from government and non-government agencies.  Without any success.  I am now, and have been for periods in the private rental market.  To pay more than 65% of my pension on rent is not sustainable.  I have not found any accommodation that is really suitable for a senior and it has not been affordable!

My Interest in Seniors Housing.

My interest in housing for seniors/disadvantaged women goes back over 20 years.  I helped a friend get into public housing(Queensland Housing). I recall then being terribly disappointed in the one-bedroom unit that she moved into.  On the one hand, she and I were pleased that after an horrific period, she was able to get a roof over her head. But we were disappointed that any Australian government agency would consider it suitable for a disabled lady.  I can say here that nothing has been done to improve the accommodation for her.  Additionally, the treatment the residents have been subject to, is appalling. The lack of any improvements to the property and the standard of it right now, is really a terrible situation.  Seniors are the forgotten cohort, and it must change.  The neglect is terrible.

Image by Cristian Newman - Unsplash.com

Old Lady

Does anyone care (really care!) about our vulnerable senior citizens?

I’m going to focus on some aspects of public housing in Queensland, and about the property, I referred to above.

When my friend moved in around 20 years ago, it was pretty basic.  Dark, dingy, no community support (no caretaker, no effort to create a community in a place that could have been such).  There was and is no security. There are unwanted visits from local drunks and low life people, little or no maintenance, and a whole raft of issues that continue to degrade the lives of these people.

  • No cover for cars – resulting in increasing ageing of vehicles for the few who can drive
  • No security – cars and property vandalism. Residents and their homes at risk.
  • Walkways not smooth and safe for elderly people with disabilities to safely walk
  • Personal gardens damaged by contract lawn-mower and garden maintenance contractors
  • No internal maintenance in 20 years
  • Units dark and dingy internally
  • Lighting and ceiling fans not maintained.

I am aware over the 20 plus years I have been connected to my friend who remains there.  She has no choice but to live in these conditions.

Several people who have been found deceased or unconscious in their units, one was dead for up to 6 months.  No one had noticed.

Does this give you the impression, as it does me, that these elderly people, mostly women were dumped there waiting for them to die?

Conclusion

I know that in times since these units were built there have been more modern accommodation blocks created.  I have not as yet had the opportunity to visit any of them.  Maybe it is unfair to criticise this older property.  I think not.  There is no way that I would consider that the above property was suitable for seniors!!!  We can do better!!!

 

 

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About Di Hill

My business card says "Writer, Traveller, Camera Addict, Bamboo Fan, Workshop Presenter." This website will focus on my writing - and the workshops I present. Workshops on Blogging, Marketing for Writers, and Life Story Writing.
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