Key PointsAge Discrimination Commissioner Kay Patterson will speak at the National Press Club.She will say Australia must create a national power of attorney register to tackle elder abuse.Data shows Australia will reach its highest level of aging population in the next 20 to 30 years.
Australia must create a national power of attorney register to tackle the insidious problem of elder abuse, with the nation facing a “perfect storm” over the next three decades, Age Discrimination Commissioner Kay Patterson says.
Data shows Australia will become the oldest it’s ever been over the next 20 to 30 years.
In an address to the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday, Ms Patterson said the nation has an opportunity to create a more inclusive society as its population ages.
The former federal minister will warn Australia is set to record a doubling of the number of people aged 65 and over, which will coincide with the biggest transfer of intergenerational wealth in history.
It’s estimated $3.5 trillion in assets will likely be passed on from baby boomers to the younger generations.
This will create a “perfect storm” of ageism or an opportunity to stamp out the form of discrimination.
“We must pursue the biggest policy challenge that would have the most impact on the wicked problem that is elder abuse … nationally consistent enduring powers-of-attorney across jurisdictions and a national enduring power-of-attorney register,” Dr Patterson said.
Developed with other advocacy organisations, the policy idea has remained on the ice for more than 20 years.
“Harmonisation would make it easier for families to look after older family members in other jurisdictions, and for people to be educated about their rights and attorneys about their responsibilities,” the former senator said.
“We can build a better cultural inheritance for an ageing Australia, and in fact we must.
“I often say the culture we accept now will be the culture we inherit.”
“We must plan and invest in the outcomes we seek as a nation,” Dr Patterson said.
She will step down in July after seven years in the role.