New South Wales Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt has spoken of his immense sadness after claiming 40 per cent of people living in aged care homes never get visitors
Mr Wyatt, who addressed the National Press Club yesterday, said he was left in disbelief that a significant number of elderly people were effectively ignored by their families.
"It saddens me immensely," he said.
"For those of you listening, I want you to cast your mind to the last time you told your mother, father, husband, wife or partner that you still love them and if you can hug them.
"Our love should not be conditional on a point in age, or because we drift away from those who once gave of themselves to care for us," he said.
"I have heard that up to 40 per cent of people in residential aged care have no visitors 365 days of the year."
Mr Wyatt said all Australians needed to consider how they wished to be treated in their later years.
"We must all ask ourselves: Do I want to be abandoned in my later years? Is this what my elders deserve? Is this how I want to live out my days?" he said.
"When I talk to people in aged care, I find so many who crave simple touch, a hug, the warmth of palms clasped together, or a soothing hand on their shoulder."
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