Some residents in nursing homes are finding themselves vulnerable to health and social issues without affordable transport options, CEO for The Community Transport Company Bethany Langford said today.
There have been multiple cases of residents left distressed and isolated without affordable transport to take them to vital health appointments.
Once people enter nursing homes, they are no longer eligible to receive services under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme like Community Transport, which is designed to help people remain independent and age in their own home.
Despite the Department of Health stating on the My Aged Care website that aged care homes have to provide all the care and services required to meet the needs of their residents, including their health, wellbeing, social life and safety, some residents are finding that according to their residential facility, affordable and appropriate transport to vital medical treatment is not one of those needs.
'The Community Transport Company receives multiple inquiries every year from aged care residents who have been refused transport assistance from their residential facility. Often when they do offer transport, it is provided at exorbitant prices - including both a per kilometre cost and and hourly cost for a nurse to travel with them. Commonwealth Home Support Programme funded services like ours are prevented from providing them with subsidised transport as they are not eligible for that funding once they enter residential aged care.' Miss Langford said.
'It's a frustrating and dangerous situation. There may one day come a point where someone needing lifesaving treatment like cancer therapy simply does not receive it because they can't afford the transport costs to get to the treatment centre.'
'This has been a problem for years, and we have made repeated calls for this situation to be resolved by either allowing CHSP funds to be used for transporting aged care residents, or by ensuring that nursing homes actually provide affordable options for transport needs of their residents,' Miss Langford said.
The Community Transport Company, a not-for-profit passenger transport organisation, is putting a spotlight on the need to provide safe, affordable and accessible transport to aged care residents across Australia.
'Transport affects us all, and it's beyond time to ensure that everyone in Australia has access to affordable, accessible and appropriate transport,' Miss Langford said.
The Community Transport Company
The Community Transport Company is a not-for-profit and large charity organisation providing accessible and affordable transport to people who are transport-disadvantaged. Our mission is access, inclusion, equality and independence for all people.
We advocate for breaking the cycle of disadvantage and isolation through flexible and appropriate transport solutions. We are a human-rights based organisation and we believe that everyone has the right to access services, health treatments, education, employment and socialisation through decent and affordable transport.
Our values are Love, Leadership, Impact, Fearlessness and Excellence.