The Morrison Government will continue to prioritise better support for older Australians by investing in a new targeted research centre, funding a new program to combat loneliness while ensuring the aged care workforce meets growing demand in the future.

$34 million will be provided to establish a new Aged Care Workforce Research Centre, which will examine new ways to deliver care for older Australians and training and education for aged care providers, drawing on the world’s best practice.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said older Australians deserve our support.

“Older Australians have built our country and they deserve our respect and support for the choices they want to make.

“This funding will deliver better support and care for older Australians, while ensuring we build the workforce to meet the demands of an aging population.

“As a nation we must continue to support our older Australians and I remain absolutely committed to doing more.

“A strong economy means we can make these important decisions and invest in the essential services Australians rely on - without higher taxes.”

For some older Australians, retirement brings new challenges and stresses and sometimes that can lead to social isolation and loneliness, with a third of all seniors living alone.

A re-elected Morrison Government will invest $10 million to develop a Seniors Connected Program to address the silent battle of loneliness that thousands of older Australians live with every day.

The program will work with local community groups, including schools and sporting clubs, as well as with grassroots organisations dedicated to supporting older Australians.

Funding will boost support for organisations like the Friends for Good phone service, which offers support services outside normal business hours and on weekends, while also expanding Village Hub projects across the country.

Today more than 1.3 million Australians access or use some form of aged care, with that number expected to grow to an estimated 3.5 million Australians by 2050. This will have a profound impact on the demand for skilled workers within the aged care sector.

A re-elected Morrison Government will prioritise the growth area of aged care with the goal of reaching 475,000 aged care workers in Australia by 2025, with significant growth projected in personal care workers, nurses, support staff and allied health professionals.

Aged care will be the first sector where a pilot program will be undertaken under the Morrison Government’s $41.7 million Skills Organisations package to support future jobs growth.

The Morrison Government will expand the Community Visitors Scheme which aims to improve the quality of life of residents of aged care homes and consumers of home care packages who are socially isolated or lonely and would benefit from a friendly visitor.

The Scheme helps to establish links between people living in aged care homes and their local community. It can act as a vehicle for intergenerational connection, providing young Australians with the opportunity to talk with and learn from older Australians.

Part of the Seniors Connected Program will encourage volunteering activity by Australia’s seniors. Many senior Australians choose to volunteer because they still have so much to contribute to the community. Volunteering offers connection and a sense of purpose.