The federal government has failed to prioritise the plight of younger people stuck living in aged care after decades of “empty rhetoric and blame shifting”, royal commission lawyers say.

Counsel assisting the aged care royal commission Richard Knowles said the government’s plan to get younger people out of nursing homes will not do enough, soon enough, to fix the problem.

“This problem should not be left to be discussed over the next five to 10 years but should be addressed now as a national priority,” Mr Knowles said on Friday.

He said there were urgent policy and service gaps that must be addressed, calling for a committed effort from state, territory and federal governments.

“It requires fresh thinking, dedicated resources and strong will,” Mr Knowles said.

Locally, entrepreneurs and health tech start-ups in the Hunter Region are being called on to collaborate and network with aged care, senior living and ageing experts at an event hosted by Aging2.0 Sydney Chapter.

Participants, including the following start-ups, will showcase how new technologies and ideas from other fields can be successfully applied to improve the experience of ageing.

· Peepsride: This ride service app enables organisations to manage transport for the most vulnerable within our communities
· Uukoo: This communication app is specifically designed to help people with dementia, their families and carers to collaborate and monitor care
· ExSitu: This online platform facilitates end of life discussions and planning for people with their families, friends, carers and doctors
· Nomad-VR: This startup works with aged care facilities to take residents on engaging virtual excursions to locations including forests, beaches or their even the residents’ hometown
· ManageHealth: The NudgeMe program uses innovation linked up to a real health coach to help aged care workers monitor and support their own physical and mental fitness self-care

Those hosting the event are urging anyone interested in participating to contact