A survey has found that half of the respondents want the government to fund the provision of aged care, while only a small number thinks profit-driven aged care services should provide care for the elderly.
Most respondents preferred Church or not-for-profit aged care, according to a study that was part of the Australian Survey of Social Attitudes, reports The Catholic Weekly.
The study, based on interviews with 1400 people, found only 16 per cent of people think families and relatives are best suited to deliver care to the elderly. The government should provide for it, 53 percent said.
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) chief executive officer Martin Laverty said the report's findings that families prefer Church and charitable aged care services come as no surprise.
"It's well known that many Church and charitable aged care providers deliver top quality care, in a manner that best meets the needs of older Australians," he said.
"Catholic aged care services who focus on pastoral and spiritual care provide support to older Australians that commercial operations cannot."
Yet he warned there are alarming consequences arising from the study's finding that few people believe families and relatives are best suited to caring for the aged.
"Only five per cent of older Australians live in a residential aged care home," Mr Laverty said. Similar numbers live in retirement homes. The remaining older population, or 90 percent, have no need to enter formal aged care. They live in their own homes, or live with their families.
"In order to remain living in their own homes, older Australians very often need support of family members or relatives. Family or friend support is key to independent living. But if only 16 percent think this support is the role of family, we face a growing community challenge."
'More flexibility needed in aged care system' (The Catholic Weekly)