Apr 24, 2014

Meet the men cashing in on Australia’s aged care crisis

As the nation ages, developers are cashing in. After the stunning market debut of Japara Healthcare last week, Crikey investigates the government schemes making many rich.

Paddy Manning

Crikey business editor

Take two vulnerable groups of people: toddlers and the aged. Throw in large amounts of government funding, a handful of extreme capitalists with pre-GFC form, and sharemarket investors looking for constant profit growth. Stir.

It’s a recipe for disaster. Two recent raisings — the $450 million float of nursing home operator Japara and a $100 million capital raising by the G8 childcare group, still underway — are another sign we have failed to learn the lessons of the financial crisis, and that irrational exuberance may be returning to the sharemarket.

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11 thoughts on “Meet the men cashing in on Australia’s aged care crisis

  1. Tom Jones

    The costs of bonds is fraught and while people may prefer to stay in their own home it is easier for family members to manage a good placement if it isn’t left to a crisis situation when poor homes offer places because the good ones are full. The bonds are often far more than the suggested figure. The float sounds like ABC in childcare which turned out so well at first as children were placed in plastic environments, toys were cycled around centres to arrive just before inspection and good was not adequate for growing children.

  2. tonyfunnywalker

    The Retirement Home “Spivs Charter” continues it would seem.

  3. Drew Missly

    My family paid a bond of $450,000.00 and a monthly payment of $2,500.00 to get our mother into aged care. There is no greater rort in this country than aged care.

  4. Tinatoerat

    I think the bond for the newest aged care home in my area is closer to $750,000 than the $250,000 mentioned in the article.
    (Western Australia, Metro area)

  5. AR

    As a general principle I am of the “spend the kid’s inheritance” tendency.
    Approaching this Last Frontier, I am appalled that some thrusting entrepreneur has not yet started providing rock’n’roll retirement homes, for those of us with no intention of going quietly into that dark maw.
    Coz, even if the body is failing, the will remains and suitably lubricious and/or virile attendants cojuld give many a new interest in life.
    Oh, I see the problem, the preference for a quick turnover.

  6. Carol Bayer

    Why did n’t you take her into your own home and give back to her some of what she sacrificed for you all those years?

    If so many siblings were not so selfish and wrapped up in their own life-style cocoons then maybe it would n’t be such an age care financial drain.

  7. PDGFD1

    Thanks Paddy. Look forward to follow-ups by Crikey!

    Meanwhile – anyone game to raise the issue of home care for the aged, and at the last, euthanasia?

    An entirely FOR-profit company where (to be fair) attempts are made to assist the aged and their relatives, but whose purpose is ultimately FOR profit Vs Quality of life at home until a humane and peaceful death.
    Anyone want to venture which will triumph?

    I for one would rather ‘step off calmly’ than endure months or years in any such establishment.

  8. CML

    Absolutely appalling! High time the aged care sector was properly regulated to stop the aged, and their families, from being ripped off.
    Why can’t we look at how aged care is managed completely by government, as in the Scandinavian countries? Surely a higher rate of taxation is preferable to this abomination!

  9. AR

    CarolB – PING! At both ends of life.
    It is often said that a society can be evaluated by its attitude to.. animals, children, woen ,,and other minorities.
    That the two lowest paid, lowest esteemed (by $ociety)are the start & end of life, is strange given that we will all taste the ‘arrangements’ at the bottom end of the scale.

  10. Suziekue

    @ Carol Bayer. You have no idea do you, of the reality of caring for the aged. Simplistic solutions smack of ignorance. I can speak from experience. My mother was bedridden, incontinent, diabetic and with a range of other medical problems when she was in aged care. Tell me how even the most devoted family member might cope with that in the family home. As it was, I shifted from full-time to part-time work so that I could ensure her needs were met within the aged care facility which was woefully understaffed. Despite having a Health Care directive stating that she wanted a quality of life death, and despite my attempted advocacy, she had a shitty death, dying in pain and discomfort because the medical staff were overwhelmed. This was in 2013. I’m in my mid 60s now, and terrified of ageing and ending up in a similar situation.

    And on that note, if we aren’t as a society willing to fund humane aged care, and provide appropriate regulation of the sector, then at least let us have access to euthanasia options.

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