Aged Care in Australia

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Caesar

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I think it’s pretty clear it’s not working, and hasn’t been for a long time.

What’s more, it’s not just failing the poor and marginalised. My great aunt and uncle are in a very expensive nursing home that was carefully selected by their son (who works in aged care management himself). Right now it has half a dozen resident cases and more amongst the staff.

I’d be terrified of going into aged care right now, even if I could afford the best care going. The system clearly needs a complete rethink and I wouldn’t even know where to start.

Hopefully the Royal Commission comes out with something, but I wonder if anything short of a complete mainstream cultural shift will solve things. Maybe the whole western idea that children can outsource assisted living for aged relatives is flawed.
 
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Caesar

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TheBrownDog
Oct 15, 2004
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not sure who would put their elderly family members into aged care, unless they required 24/7 support

pushing them under a bus, is less cruel. Yet we wouldn't do that!!! so why is dumping them in aged care acceptable?
 

Ned_Flanders

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not sure who would put their elderly family members into aged care, unless they required 24/7 support

pushing them under a bus, is less cruel. Yet we wouldn't do that!!! so why is dumping them in aged care acceptable?
most aged care isnt for people needing 24/7 support

a lot of it the person buys into themselves, because it provides onsite access to community, home maintenance, and rapid response healthcare support.

I've got multiple family working in the sector, and only one is in a gods waiting room scenario

Of the rest, two are onsite at a retirement village (one is an RN, the other is a support worker). A forth is a RN who drops in for health checks for supported accom residents (4 share a house, they have catering support, access to transportation, and the big red button for a health emergency, but otherwise its like any normal house)


Also many elderly people choose aged care. They feel too isolated living alone (if their partner has passed on), and dont want to live with their kids. FWIW my MIL lives with us, but she is already telling my wife that when her mobility is reduced, she wants to be put in a chinese speaking retirement village, as she wants to associate with people her own age - not just us when we get back from work.

the issues for selection are understanding long term costs of a facility as many dont read the fine print and understand all the ongoing costs involved. In addition, many tend to focus on the perks of a facility, and not the bread and butter requirements. Finally many focus on the needs of today and price based upon that, keeping nothing in reserve for when needs increase as health deteriorates in coming years
 

cartwright

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I think it’s pretty clear it’s not working, and hasn’t been for a long time.

What’s more, it’s not just failing the poor and marginalised. My great aunt and uncle are in a very expensive nursing home that was carefully selected by their son (who works in aged care management himself). Right now it has half a dozen resident cases and more amongst the staff.

I’d be terrified of going into aged care right now, even if I could afford the best care going. The system clearly needs a complete rethink and I wouldn’t even know where to start.

Hopefully the Royal Commission comes out with something, but I wonder if anything short of a complete mainstream cultural shift will solve things. Maybe the whole western idea that children can outsource assisted living for aged relatives is flawed.
I’d say attaching making a profit off aged care is far more deeply flawed and is the root cause of these problems.

quite unfair to blame the “children” of parents in facilities
 

Caesar

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I’d say attaching making a profit off aged care is far more deeply flawed and is the root cause of these problems.

quite unfair to blame the “children” of parents in facilities
I didn’t blame the children. But I certainly think that we should be asking whether institutionalising the elderly is the best way of ensuring they have a high quality of life into old age.
 

eddiesmith

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Saying no one should be in aged care unless they cannot be looked after at home is a bit unfair on all aged care homes.

Some are fine, probably the ones which are run as not for profits.

The one my grandfather was in was fantastic, took a certain % of his pension so no concerns over rising costs. Was well fed, well looked after.

Yes he was in a state that he could not be looked after at home, but now another family member is in the same home. Is far more mobile but also very happy with it.

Also had zero Covid vases, like 99% of state run homes it has the benefit of being in an area with low Covid cases, least in all of Melbourne.

There are definitely issues with the sector but comments which were made by the premier saying he’d never put his mum into any private aged care home is a bit harsh.
 

cartwright

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There’s no regulator
No rules and half the workers are over worked, the other half don’t give a sh*t about the people they’re meant to care for.
 

Gough

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There’s no regulator
No rules and half the workers are over worked, the other half don’t give a sh*t about the people they’re meant to care for.
John Howard would have been better off dying not long after the 2007 election when his legacy wasn't in complete tatters. He could have gone to the grave thinking himself a great Prime Minister rather than as the wrecker history will remember him as.
 

Caesar

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“we”, as in society?

Of course it’s not ideal, but often necessary.
I think it is perhaps a little less necessary than we sometimes like to pretend. Western societies have far higher levels of institutionalised elder care than many other parts of the world.

Japan has long emphasised keeping care for the elderly within the community and family unit (both culturally, but also policy-wise through schemes like LCTI) and they have some of the best outcomes in the world.

I do sometimes find it a little curious that we put so much emphasis on people’s responsibility to actively care for their children, yet so little on their responsibility to actively care for their elderly parents. In many ways the two groups are equally vulnerable.
 

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cartwright

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I think it is perhaps a little less necessary than we sometimes like to pretend. Western societies have far higher levels of institutionalised elder care than many other parts of the world.

Japan has long emphasised keeping care for the elderly within the community and family unit (both culturally, but also policy-wise through schemes like LCTI) and they have some of the best outcomes in the world.

I do sometimes find it a little curious that we put so much emphasis on people’s responsibility to actively care for their children, yet so little on their responsibility to actively care for their elderly parents. In many ways the two groups are equally vulnerable.
Japan also has a retirement age of 63. And until recently, Japan had forced retirements or 'mandatory retirement' - among other cultural differences.

Many people need to decide what is the best option for their parent, or elderly family member. They may suffer from dementia. Or continually fall out of bed - can't wash themselves nor wipe themselves when they go to the bathroom.

Your entire focus is on families making tough decisions and then paying a very high financial price to ensure care for their elderly parents and ignoring the entire sector that has no regulation, a government who believes in making profit off the elderly and low quality of care.
 

Caesar

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They may suffer from dementia. Or continually fall out of bed - can't wash themselves nor wipe themselves when they go to the bathroom.
Most children suffer from similar afflictions, but we don’t ship them all off to care homes at the drop of a hat.

Your entire focus is on families making tough decisions and then paying a very high financial price to ensure care for their elderly parents and ignoring the entire sector that has no regulation, a government who believes in making profit off the elderly and low quality of care.
At no point have I said that the aged care sector is well run. But by the same token let’s not pretend that the cultural doesn’t affect the political.

I have no doubt that if the key voting demographic felt more strongly about keeping their elderly parents in the community and around their families for as long as possible, the money would flow to support them in making that happen. That is certainly what happened in Japan 20 years ago, when the LCTI was implemented.

In contrast to children, we are mostly happy to make the unpleasant parts of having elderly relatives someone else’s problem. So subsidies flow to young families and old people are put into homes.

There they are cared for by people with no personal stake in their wellbeing - with just enough investment to assuage the guilt of the children and society who have put them out of sight and mind.
 

cartwright

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John Howard would have been better off dying not long after the 2007 election when his legacy wasn't in complete tatters. He could have gone to the grave thinking himself a great Prime Minister rather than as the wrecker history will remember him as.
A series of decisions have got us where we are today.

- billions slashed from funding
- No regulatory checks conducted - for years
- removal of rating lists, making the selection of homes for families much more difficult
- reduction of number of hours funded for a registered nurse, reduced from 308 hours to 168.


Peter Rozen, QC, told the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety in August: “It can be seen, commissioners, that the aged-care system we have in 2020 is not a system that is failing,” “It is the system operating as it was designed to operate. We should not be surprised at the results.”
 

Caesar

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Saying no one should be in aged care unless they cannot be looked after at home is a bit unfair on all aged care homes.
I am definitely not saying that. But I think there should be higher social expectations placed on younger generations in terms of their responsibility to look after the welfare of their older family members.

Few people would consider packing off their own children how they do their parents, or divesting themselves of an orphaned niece or nephew in a similar way to how childless older aunts and uncles are despatched. I don’t think that’s right. As a family units and communities we owe each other better than that.

Obviously greater obligations should also come with a commensurate increase in social support.
 
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Kram

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'Traumatised': Aged care virus planning was insufficient, confused

Tom McIlroyPolitical reporter
Oct 1, 2020 – 5.57pm

The Coalition government's handling of the COVID-19 threat to Australians living in aged care was "insufficient" and suffered from confused and inconsistent messaging, a new report has found.

Releasing a special report into the coronavirus crisis, the aged care royal commission warned a comprehensive, defined and consolidated plan to manage outbreaks in facilities was still badly needed, describing the sector's workforce as under-resourced and overworked.


Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck has accepted the report's recommendations. Alex Ellinghausen

"It is now also traumatised," the report released on Thursday afternoon said.

After more than 665 deaths in aged care and thousands of infections among staff and residents around the country, the report called for specialist infection control experts to be deployed to all facilities and a new national advisory body be created.

It would operate alongside the existing federal government regulator and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee [AHPPC]. The report also called for increases in allied health services and mental health support.

"It is now clear that the measures implemented by the Australian government on advice from the AHPPC were in some respects insufficient to ensure preparedness of the aged care sector," the report said.
"Confused and inconsistent messaging from providers, the Australian government, and state and territory governments emerged as themes in the submissions we have received on COVID-19.
"All too often, providers, care recipients and their families, and health workers did not have an answer to the critical question: who is in charge? At a time of crisis, such as this pandemic, clear leadership, direction and lines of communication are essential."

In August, Prime Minister Scott Morrison conceded failures had taken place, apologising to families and flagging a possible shake-up of the sector's governance. The highest-profile outbreaks include Sydney's Newmarch House, where 19 residents died and 71 people were infected, and Dorothy Henderson Lodge, where six people died.

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck, widely criticised for his lack of command of details of the pandemic's reach into the sector, welcomed the report's findings.
The government accepted all six recommendations in the report and said the implementation of at least four major changes were already substantially under way.
"The royal commission’s report tells us the COVID-19 pandemic has been the greatest challenge Australia’s aged care sector has faced and makes six recommendations to better prepare the aged care sector, its staff and residents for any future outbreaks.
"Wherever there are high rates of community transmission, the risk to older people and particularly those in residential aged care increases as demonstrated in Victoria," Senator Colbeck said.
Opposition spokeswoman Julie Collins slammed the government for its management and response to the report on Thursday.
"The result of the Morrison government’s catastrophic failure is a national tragedy," she said.
"The foundations of our country’s aged care system have buckled under the pressure of a deadly disease and the Morrison government did not do enough to stop it.

"Neglect. That’s the legacy of this government when it comes to aged care."
Greens spokeswoman Rachel Siewert said the government's response was "shambolic".
"The buck stops with the Commonwealth on aged care and so far they have failed dismally," she said.
https://www.afr.com/politics/federa...are-planning-was-insufficient-20201001-p5614x
 

Run n Spread

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not sure who would put their elderly family members into aged care, unless they required 24/7 support

pushing them under a bus, is less cruel. Yet we wouldn't do that!!! so why is dumping them in aged care acceptable?
Have you spent much time in Aged Care homes? They are yes awful places but the residents do need 24/7 care. They simply can't be left alone. Now while families tend to do their best fact is next of kin have either or a combination of:
-Work
-Families themselves
- Health issues themselves
-Money needs etc.

Aged care is actually not a retirement village to be brutal it is where people are on their last legs and terminal. They are physically or mentally not capable of being independent and need professional care.

I think the focus needs to be on quality end of life care and even a palliative approach. Needs proper nurses and doctors.
 

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TheBrownDog
Oct 15, 2004
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Have you spent much time in Aged Care homes? They are yes awful places but the residents do need 24/7 care. They simply can't be left alone. Now while families tend to do their best fact is next of kin have either or a combination of:
-Work
-Families themselves
- Health issues themselves
-Money needs etc.

Aged care is actually not a retirement village to be brutal it is where people are on their last legs and terminal. They are physically or mentally not capable of being independent and need professional care.

I think the focus needs to be on quality end of life care and even a palliative approach. Needs proper nurses and doctors.
I guess I have different values when it comes to family.

It’s a very Aussie/ English approach to dump family in their time of need. Where more conservative cultures, with traditional values, pull together and look after each other.
 

Run n Spread

Norm Smith Medallist
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I guess I have different values when it comes to family.

It’s a very Aussie/ English approach to dump family in their time of need. Where more conservative cultures, with traditional values, pull together and look after each other.
It's not dumping family it should be about care. If a family member had cancer is palliative care dumping them?
 

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TheBrownDog
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If you can't look after someone and they have to go into a home fair enough but at least bloody visit them as much as you can in there.
Yep

How hard is it to pick them up after work each night, and have dinner with them and then drop them off in the morning.

Some would treat their dog better than their parents or family. You see tradies and office workers bring their dog to work these days, as dogs have needs.

Surprisingly, so do parents and grandparents
 

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