THE federal government’s recently announced royal commission into aged care has been welcomed across the region.
One local aged care worker, who did wish to be named, hoped the inquiry would see better staff-to-resident ratios mandated and implemented.
She said safety was a leading concern, not just for residents, but for staff as well.
“I know a staff member who has been assaulted numerous times,” she said.
“There’s homes which have had duress alarms turned off for financial reasons.”
She also said there needed to be better incentives to entice workers into the sector with aged care nurses paid less than nurses working in public hospitals.
While there were a number of concerns which needed to be addressed, the worker said had “gained more out of aged care than any other career”.
“It’s making connections with people and keeping them over months and years,” she said.
“You don’t get that in hospital nursing.
“You get to see the person, not just the illness.”
Local provider, McLean Care, welcomed the government’s royal commission as a chance for a timely discussion about the future of the industry as Australia faces a growing and ageing population.
“There has been shocking individual instances of poor care, and abuse by some providers and these examples are totally unacceptable to us, as a provider, as well as members of your communities,” the aged care provider said in a statement.
“Every day around the country, individuals working in aged care are responsible for the care of more than one million older Australians, and that number is growing.
“We take this responsibility seriously and believe the care provided by McLean Care is the highest quality.”
Federal minister for aged care Ken Wyatt said he was “deeply saddened by the stories” of sub-standard care shown for some of Australia’s most vulnerable citizens.
Mr Wyatt urged the community to contribute to the royal commission.
“As a community we expect high standards for the quality and safety of aged care services and we share these expectations,” he said.
“This royal commission will be about proactively determining what we need to do in the future to ensure these expectations can be met.
“Facilities not providing the care we expect no longer have anywhere to hide – and we have the option to shut down operators not doing the right thing.”
All members of the community will be now be able to have their say on the Terms of Reference on the Department of Health’s website.
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