After publishing my article Bullying and Abuse among aged care advocates must stop I became a target of abuse.
Heather Mansell Brown claimed the posts in my article were doctored. They were not. In fact these posts were merely a taste of the abuse that Heather and her cabal of disaffected women inflicted on a small community in Southern Queensland. This document contains many abusive posts from Heather and those who support her. Sadly, there are many, many more.
Jane Hiliary Seaholme claimed I lied in the account of the personal abuse she raged against me. This document provides evidence of Jane’s abusive Emails and Tweets verbatim and my responses to her puerile abuse.
Heather and Jane continue their ongoing abuse towards providers, government and advocates with whom they disagree. They have both created a social media echo chamber – Heather on Facebook; Jane on Twitter. These echo chambers, inhabited by a small number of the usual suspects, are toxic places to visit.
Rather than abuse people on social media, it has been suggested that these women could actually help older people by volunteering in an aged care home.
If amendments had gone through the Senate, they would have been a game changer for the aged care sector. They would have improved transparency and accountability around finances, staffing ratios and complaints in aged care homes.
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”.