Royal Commission
On 16 September 2018, the Australian Government announced a Royal Commission into the aged care sector. The Royal Commission is looking at the quality of residential and in-home aged care and will provide a final report by 26 February 2021.
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“Inhumane” home care delays burdening the aged care system: royal commission

Australia should be prioritising home care services rather than residential aged care, the royal commission heard on Monday. Yet more than 100,000 Australians are still waiting to receive the level of care they have been assessed as needing, and the regulator has decreased the number of provider inspections, despite the steady increase in the number... Read More

Aged care minister left red faced during government inquiry

The Minister for Aged care was left fumbling for answers during an excruciating exchange at the senate inquiry into the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic today. Minister Richard Colbeck was unable to answer questions at Friday’s Senate Committee hearing about how many aged care residents had died from COVID-19 in Victoria. Read More

“Broken” home care system leaving older Australians abandoned and confused

Many older Australians are falling through the cracks when it comes to home care as they struggle to use an ill-conceived system and are simply unaware of the options available to them. New research from the Consumer Policy Research Centre undertaken in partnership with the University of South Australia has found that complexity and a... Read More
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“Unless somebody dies” you won’t get respite care, royal commission hears

The royal commission has been hearing this week about the struggles that carers face looking after their loved ones at home. Carers revealed they face social isolation, financial hardship, difficulty accessing respite care, and a lack of support in general. Yet some said it was still a role they were happy to perform. “What was... Read More

“Our story’s a sad story, but it’s also a good story” royal commission hears

  The royal commission heard about the benefits of ‘multipurpose service’ providers in small country towns on Wednesday, and examined proposals for several ways to improve the delivery of aged care services in rural and remote areas. Peter Harris, whose wife Beth is living with young onset dementia, told the commission the multi-purpose service (MPS)... Read More

“My number one goal is to get the f*#@ out of the nursing home”

  The royal commission is hearing this week from younger Australians living in residential aged care. Lisa Corcoran, who spoke with the help of a speech pathologist, made her feelings clear. “My number one goal is to get the fuck out of the nursing home,” she said during the first day of hearings.  Ms Corcoran... Read More
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“This cruel and harmful system must be changed”: interim report

  The royal commission’s interim report provides a damning appraisal of Australia’s aged care sector and calls for a complete overhaul of the system. Describing ageist attitudes, cruelty, neglect, poor leadership, confusing systems, fragmented services, and an absence of joy, the interim report, which is titled ‘Neglect’, reflects the thinking of the commissioners of the... Read More

Aged care failures show how little we value older people – and those who care for them

As the royal commission begins investigating the failures of the residential aged care sector, it is important such a review also considers the broader socio-political factors that have contributed to this crisis. The commission needs to go beyond the institutional problems at individual aged care facilities, as these are a symptom of a much broader... Read More

Chemical restraint destroyed my father’s quality of life

My 81 year old, moderately dementia-affected father was admitted as an in-patient in a private hospital in Queensland on 13 June 2018. I am his Enduring Power of Attorney. He does not have capacity having mixed dementia – vascular dementia and Alzheimers. On his very first night in hospital, without my knowledge or consent, his treating... Read More
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Assaults, loopholes, and bad smells: This week at the Royal Commission

The main points to come out of the Aged Care Royal Commission this week: There were more than 3,700 assaults in Australian nursing homes in 2017-18. Some aged care providers are manipulating the government funding scheme. The aged care sector will need to triple its workforce by 2050. A South Australian man has been waiting... Read More

Aged care, death and taxes after the royal commission

The Governor-General was handed the report of the aged care royal commission on Friday. It will be made public in the coming week. Overlaying its considerations has been Australia’s 909 deaths from COVID-19, more than two-thirds of them (685) people in aged care facilities. It has to be recognised that COVID accounts for an extremely small share of deaths in Australia, and even deaths of senior citizens. 127,082 Australians aged 70 and over died in 2019. To date 851 in that age group have died of COVID. Some good might come from these sad deaths if they prompted us to think about where we are likely to die. Read More
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