Mar 02, 2018

Aged Care Apology

We look forward to an apology from those most vocal in effectively denigrating ALL aged care providers based on what happened at Oakden.

– Grandstanding Politicians of all persuasions

– Self-serving media outlets and ignorant commentators

– Journalist

– South Australian Ministers for Health (past and present)

The Aged Care Industry, providers across Australia, look forward to a public apology for the damage caused to the reputation of the entire industry and every individual who works in it.

As totally unacceptable as the circumstance of Oakden are, it is not a reflection of the Aged Care Industry, yet it is the Aged Care Industry as a whole that has ridiculed and penalised as a consequence of a kneejerk, bandwagon mentality.

The following is taken from “The report of the Oakden Review”, by Dr Aaron Groves Chief Psychiatrist, (page 31)

What is Oakden?

Oakden is not a Nursing Home.

Oakden is, and has always been a Specialist Older Person’s Mental Health Service for South Australians with Severe Mental Illness including those arising in the context of Dementia, for 34 years.

During almost half of that time, a significant part, but not all of the facility, has also been funded by the Commonwealth as an Aged Care Facility. This has led to confusion at all levels of the Health System in South Australia.

Whilst part of Oakden, has “Nursing Home” status under Commonwealth Aged Care Funding arrangements, it has always been an integral part of the continuum of State-operated Specialist OPMHS. The referral pathway is primarily from SA Health acute OPMHS to a system that is run by SA Health. The service is for those people who have the most severe problems which mean they could not be provided assistance by any other Commonwealth funded Dementia Specific Facility in SA.

We’re waiting!

This content was originally published on LinkedIn

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  1. I am one of those who have a family member in aged care I cannot accept that an apology is required. In fact the aged care industry while providing care fails badly in its compliance with standards they espouse. They pass inspection for having systems in place but then fail to manage systems as they state until this can be done aged care will ne miserable. Handling of residential environments in a planned way instead of continual crisis management with poor outcomes is where the system fails.

    1. I agree with you Lynton, I left aged care when they put paperwork in front of me and asked me to backdate and put my signature to documents, document care interventions that had never happened. I reported it and never heard a squeak!

    2. I agree wholeheartedly with you Lynton Stewart – there needs a shake up in this industry – they are the most vulnerable and many have no family to speak up for them or help them. No apology will ever come from me

    3. Is it my understanding that you are saying every Aged Care provider in Australia fails the system. How could you possibly know what all Aged Care providers offer.

      In an ideal world all forms of service in Aged Care would be perfect but given this industry is staffed by people who I believe are mostly compassionate and dedicated and not robots I believe we are very fortunate to have the care that we do in Australia.

      The providers are aware that there are shortcomings and I believe that in the most they are working hard to ensure that Australian care reaches the highest standards possible.

      My mother had Dementia and was in an Aged Care service in Sydney and although not perfect we could not fault the care that was given to her for the 5 years she was a resident. They understood her needs as an individual and when we arrived usually unannounced they were as caring and considerate as if they knew we going to call.

      I would be very interested to hear your response again when you have investigated every Aged Care provider in Australia.

      1. Hear, hear, Robyn! I absolutely refuse to believe that the industry as a whole is knowingly and purposely mistreating the elderly under their care.

        The issue that Chris has raised does occur, not through malice but because we’ve had a regulator that has punitively focused on the paperwork rather than the people; hopefully with the abolition of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency that attitude will now begin to change.

        What I find ironic in these knee jerk reaction attacks on the industry is that I could easily walk into any workplace in the country and find instances where people, policies, procedures, processes, or products have failed in their intended purpose and resulted in a poor outcome. As humans no of us is perfect, but as you rightly point out Robyn I also thoroughly concur that “… the industry is staffed by people who I believe are mostly compassionate and dedicated and not robots I believe we are very fortunate to have the care that we do in Australia.

        The providers are aware that there are shortcomings and I believe that in the most they are working hard to ensure that Australian care reaches the highest standards possible.”

  2. “Us’ against ‘Them’ perpetuates a circuitous, divisive debate wasting valuable resources & time without addressing the recognised fundamental issues .
    Lynton expresses a view increasingly expressed by many in the age of the customer.
    Positive action, rather than vacuous apologies, will demonstrate the common interest of Us & Them – consistent quality care outcomes for residents/clients.

  3. I look for reliable data and find very little. The many complaints from residents and staff, the poor overall staffing levels and skills in Australia and the unwillingness of the industry to collect and publish data all point to suboptimal care across much of Australia. We should start by collecting verifiable data.

    Will the industry apologise and compensate the community if it is found that we have been promised world class care but many have received 3rd world care instead – which looks likely.

    The USA for instance on average provides a third more nursing care and twice as much from qualified nurses. Regulators who collect data give only 7% of facilities full marks and 20% have significant problems. In Australia almost 98% get full marks which is a little strange!

    It is medical including skilled nursing support that enables wellbeing when systems are failing – so enabling maximum possible engagement with life.

    1. “I look for reliable data and find very little.”

      Good! That tells me our nation’s caregivers are spending their time and limited resources on providing the very best of service to the people under their care, no filling out reams of paper so that you can find some statistics, which is exactly what the problem has been more many years! With the abolition of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agenda hopefully that will now begin to change.

      Provided the people in our aged care facilities are found to be happy, healthy, and safe, facts and figures mean absolutely nothing.

  4. My mother died in an Aged Care facility in 2016. I found her lying on a flat air bed with a fractured pelvis. The base of this bed is metal. My mother’s room stunk of urine despite an assurance that the room would be steam cleaned regularly. Although I did receive an apology from this provider I have now discovered that my mother was probably undermedicated and in constant pain when she died. I don’t have the words to explain how I feel about the Aged Care sector and in my opinion the owners of these companies should be aggressively pursued through the courts. No-one should apologise to these people because they run business models which ration care (and food) and target the most vulnerable in our community.

  5. I disagree with the sweeping statements made by “lynton Stewart” above, in which he/she assets that the entire aged care “industry” fails badly in its compliance with aged care standards. Unless he/she has evidence supporting this assertion about every aged care facility in Australia, this gross distortion of the facts should be withdrawn. My husband resides in an aged care facility. He has frontotemporal dementia, MND and pulmonary fibrosis. I cannot fault the care he is receiving. I have very high standards and have been very happy with the level of care and attention he receives every day. It is unfair to denigrate all aged care facilities as being non compliant and crisis driven. I support the CEO of Seasons’ demand for an apology. Many many care workers are dedicated and meticulous in their care of residents. Those that are not should certainly be removed, but let’s not insult those good people who do a great job every day. PS. My husband is NOT cared for by a Seasons facility.

    1. I agree with you Sally,i have worked at our facility in Aged Care for 11 Years and i can assure people that there are Facilities out there that really do care for our Residents, we at Uralba love and care about our Aged like our own families and it is with great pride i must say ,that our Residents share that same feeling with Staff.Please do not Tar all Aged Facilities with the same Brush People because i for one disagree with this belief… So sad.

  6. No apology is required. The Aged Care sector is not providing proper care. How many people have to complain before they understand this ?

  7. Take a hike, Lynton. The facility was federally accredited, audited and passed. The Aged Care Minister has acknowledged this. Yours is just another attempt to peddle the rotten apple theory.

    1. I apologise to Lynton Stewart for mistakenly attributing the demand for an apology to him. I meant to tell Nick Houdon to take a hike.

  8. I have work in age care for a number of years .And every shift i found my residence in a uncare for state most of the times …that makes it much harder for the staff that do care doing double the work load ..i was so tied of seeing my residence left in feaces and urine becouse of incompertant staff .Agedcare management are very good at coveri g all issues up staff are afraid of losing jobs and residents afraid of being forced to move so. they want say anything..residents are left in pads that have not been changed for up to 24hours or more people are being abused by some staff allthis happens in Agedcare. What is needed is cameras in all residents rooms as well as all areas so it can be documented for there safty and hygiene and wellbeing. .management are responsible for delivering and maintenance of all residents.

    1. Zelda, if you said or did nothing whilst knowing this was going on then you are just as guilty as those you accuse.

      The number for the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner is 1300 550 552.

  9. Take a look at the SA/Flinders Unis’ research on NATIONAL aged care staffing.

    Read the results of the aged care NATIONAL missed care survey.

    Read the NATION-WIDE submissions into the Elder Abuse inquiry and the Senate Inquiry into quality care.

    Then read the ACFA report detailing how providers made more than one billion dollars in profit.

    Then you will understand that aged care provision in Australia is a NATIONAL disgrace.

    It is Providers who should be apologising.

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