Letter, The Age, 2 November 2019
After reading the Aged Care Royal Commissioner’s heart breaking interim report, I realise how lucky my parents were to find an aged care home where the staff treated them with kindness and respect – and who had time to care, chat/laugh with them and take an interest in their lives.
We found the aged care home by luck. It was the only aged care home in their area that allowed them to sleep together.
Could the good aged care home providers please stand up and be counted? Now more than ever, the public needs to know you exist.
The title of this year’s Victorian Healthcare Week Great Debate was: Do We Need Mandated Staffing Ratios in Aged Care? Are we better off focusing on the quality outcomes for older Australians rather than mandated staffing ratios?
I was 2nd speaker on the negative side.
A new independent study by Dr Sarah Russell, of Research Matters, titled ‘Working Well in an Aged Care Home’ asked staff to fill out a survey on what they enjoy about their jobs. Conor Burke reports
Last week, HelloCare invited me to comment on the requirement in the new Aged Care Quality Standards for open disclosure. I suggested all aged care homes and home care providers should be required to report adverse incidents not only to the older person and their family but also on their websites.
I am pleased both Ian Yates (CEO, COTA) and Darren Mathewson (Acting CEO of ACSA) have contested this idea for improving transparency. I always welcome debate. A public debate about transparency in the aged care sector is long overdue.
This is my response.
Our democracy depends on the robust contest of policies. Yet so far the federal election campaign has been dominated by personal insults, pork barrelling and heated discussions about preference deals. I’ve hardly heard a whisper from candidates about their party’s aged care policies.
I am standing as a candidate for Reason Australia in my local electorate (Cooper in inner city Melbourne) so I can put aged care in the election spotlight. Reason brings an evidence-based approach to all its policies, including aged care policies.
Aged care needs evidence-based, not opinion-based, policies. It also needs kindness. Rather than listen to the opinions of the usual suspects who are part of the broken system that has failed older Australians, we need new thinking. To quote Albert Einstein: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”.