Apr 06, 2018

“Please Stop Elder Neglect”: Nurses Union

Politicians need to stop talking and act on aged care neglect in Australia.

Every day, elderly Australians experience unnecessary pain, suffering and premature death in aged care facilities nation-wide.

A complete lack of Federal laws means aged care providers can staff facilities however they choose.

As a result, the majority of Australia’s 2400-plus privately run aged care facilities are chronically understaffed. In fact, it is not uncommon or illegal for one nurse to be left with up to 200 residents at a time.

This means elderly Australians who have lived long, productive lives do not receive the care, food, fluids, medication or assistance they require. It means elderly Australians fall unnecessarily, experience pain unnecessarily and die before their time.

This will likely occur today, tomorrow and every day until Australian politicians – from all sides of politics – act on the issue. With the introduction of Federal legislation that make safe staff levels law in all aged care facilities. Like the laws that exist in child care facilities, schools, learn to swim centres and pretty much every other workplace and facility in the country.

In recent days, in response to ongoing media scrutiny of aged care, politicians like Liberal Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt have distributed media releases with titles such as Aged Care Quality and Safety Comes First. Sadly, it does not.

It is increasingly clear that despite numerous aged care reviews, and media releases from the Turnbull Government and the opposition, aged care quality and safety does not come first in this country. Not even close.

The lack of laws and regulation in aged care means older Australians are being treated as second class citizens. They are simply not getting the care they deserve or need.

And while they suffer, the talk and media releases continue. Neither the Turnbull Government or the Federal ALP have committed to introducing laws that would force aged care providers to safely staff their facilities. That needs to change – now. Queensland and Australian nurses and midwives will continue to campaign on this issue http://anmf.org.au/campaign/entry/ratios-for-aged-care.

Right now, these facilities are not required to have even a single Registered Nurse on site. Access to doctors is extremely limited and Personal Carers hired to be on site can legally have little or no experience.

In addition, it is important the Australian public know that these facilities recently received more than $16 billion in taxpayer funds. These providers also reported more than $1 billion in collective profits. And all this atop the around 80 per cent of resident pensions, or up to $800, they receive per bed, per fortnight.

Aged care providers can afford to pay for staff – they just need to be held to account.

The time for talking has long passed. I urge any politicians who genuinely care to act.

What do you have to say? Comment, share and like below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Benefits of community living

In this episode of Grey Matters, Tracey and Ben discuss the benefits of aged care community living. Community living has some distinct differences and benefits compared to living in your own home or a residential aged care facility. Tracey explains how aged care community living is like a village within a village and how the... Read More

“Each of these ‘little boxes’ in the locked down Melbourne Towers holds a story”, nurse opens up

Each of these ‘little boxes’ in the locked down Melbourne towers holds a story. Someone who matters. We are listening and we care. The past two days I have had the privilege of being one of a team of nurses from Knox Private Hospital providing COVID swabbing for the residents of the towers. This pandemic brings... Read More

Care finders receiving kickbacks for aged care placements

  People seeking help navigating the aged care system may be receiving biased advice from aged care placement services as providers offer kickbacks for successfully placing a new resident in their home. Aged care placement professionals are not regulated and there is no requirement for them to declare if they are receiving payment for successful... Read More
Advertisement