Updated: Apr 14
But is it enough?
Earlier this month, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety revealed the shocking tale of neglect towards Australia's older, more vulnerable citizens.
After ten months of investigation and public hearings across the nation, the Royal Commission reported on its findings to date, which was ridden with scandals and overwhelmingly distressing experiences.
One of the key controversies to emerge surrounded the Oakden aged-care facility in Adelaide, which closed in September 2017 after reports that patients had been overdosed and inappropriately restrained.
Following a string of similar disturbing cases, the Interim Report shed light on the systemic failures of residential aged-care facilities and foreshadowed the likelihood of a complete overhaul in coming months.
You can read the findings of the report titled Nelgect by clicking here.
How has the Coalition responded?
So far, the Federal Government has responded to the findings of the report by pledging $537 million to the aged-care sector.
Of that amount, $25 million will be spent on medication management programs to reduce the use of chemical restraints to subdue and control the behaviour of residents.
The majority of the funding will be devoted to an extra 10,000 home care packages, which some have criticised as a "drop in the ocean" of what's required from the government.
According to Ian Henschke, Chief Advocate for National Seniors, up to 16,000 people died last year waiting for a home care package and over 120,000 remain on the waiting list.
On that basis, one might argue that the Coalition is ignoring the bigger picture and applying a band-aid solution to the problem.
However, this strategy is grounded in policy and recognises the importance of individuals having the autonomy to make their own choices about their future.
It also remains to be seen what changes will be made with respect to the predominantly migrant-based workforce that is under pressure, under-valued and under-skilled to accommodate those in need.
As identified in the Interim Report, "the quality of care that people receive depends very much on the quality of the paid carers, their working conditions, leadership and engagement," which is why further investigation into workforce issues will be carried out over the next 12 months.
The final report is due on 12 November 2020 and will hopefully prompt more transparent, regulation amongst residential aged-care facilities. Until then, organisations within the sector are being urged to be proactive and follow best practice.
How can Superior Lifestyle help?
The decision to settle a loved one into an aged-care facility is a very uncomfortable exercise for most families and one which we believe should only be made as a last resort.
When it comes to protecting our vulnerable senior population, we believe the answer lies in empowering them to be mobile and independent in their own homes through innovative assistive technology.
With access to electric beds, electric chairs and cyclonic vibration therapy, we can effectively reduce the strain on carers and simultaneously minimise pain and discomfort for a deep, restorative sleep.
We have already begun taking steps to communicate the benefits of this technology with NDIS participants and will be taking a similar approach to key players in the aged care industry.
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