Australia

Jun 30, 2014

An aged-care debacle quietly looms

Watch out -- poorly understood reforms to aged care are about to commence, and this anonymous aged-care worker warns it will end in disaster.

It’s been touted as a major reform allowing “choice” in aged care — but it will probably end in people of modest means being forced into substandard care, or locked out of residential care altogether.

19 comments

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19 thoughts on “An aged-care debacle quietly looms

  1. klewso

    “Responsibility”? Falling to “Ghoulie” Andrews – the same Howard “Minister for WorkChoices and Haneef’s Detention”? Oh, joy.
    On the bright side, the use of kerosene baths has been discredited?

  2. Doug Clark

    And that’s just for those Homes under the Federal scheme. State schemes are about 2-3 years behind in regulation, and all over the place, but importantly in most States Bonds now have to be held in a trust account, not the owner’s back pocket, which is a huge improvement

  3. Dan Hilvert

    I admire the writer’s bold calls here. Especially given they’ll be very easy to debunk 6 months from now. Good on you for making big calls, not enough of that these days. I also agree that few commentators understand the nuances that are in place and changing here.

    But I disagree with the general thrust of the article.

    Firstly, RAC providers should still be able to charge large bonds its just that they’ll need reg permission and the Liberal appointed regulator would surely waive through most applications for bonds greater then the threshold level.

    Secondly, on the comment “care needs have gone missing” well it might or might not be the case that care is sub-par depending on the facility but that shouldn’t have anything to do with the LLLB reforms in res care because those reforms are predominantly about the accommodation side of res care.

    Thirdly, there is opportunity for many providers to have a stronger business model given that they can now charge a bond or periodic payment on beds formerly known as high care.

    Whilst there are a niche group of Providers who stand to lose from this (financially leveraged Providers who chiefly do low care) because they might be forced to accept periodic payments instead of bonds and therefore have a problem repaying bank finance …. but those Providers are in a small minority and the banks have nothing to gain by playing hard-ball with them.

  4. paddy

    Interesting article and interesting comment from Dan H.
    Let’s hope the “interesting times” ahead are better than Anon suggests.

    Kevin “Bloody” Andrews in the role of “Minister responsible” is not exactly a cheering thought.

  5. leon knight

    Anon’s predictions may or may not come true, but his general thrust of the type of careful planning, and diligent adult government we have come to expect of the LNP team now in charge in general, and Andrews in particular, is hard to argue against….

  6. Yclept

    “more elderly people at risk and ultimately people are going to start dying unnecessarily” which will mean less of the “fully government supported”, so a big win for Tony and Co!

  7. Alan

    Does anyone know what these changes will be and exactly what that means for the carers and nurses?
    Most carers, who do the actual work of bathing, cleaning, feeding, dressing, grooming, brushing teeth, changing incontinence pads, cleaning rooms, mopping floors, cleaning up spills, making morning and afternoon tea, distributing residents clothing, emptying the bins, etc. have to also deal with dementia in many residents, and, from personal experience, dementia isn’t just someone being a bit forgetful, it can present in many very challenging ways.
    Carers are mostly employed on a casual or permanent part time basis and earn just slightly above the minimum wage (depending on the hours worked), burnout is common and high staff turnover is the norm.
    If the profit is the only motivator for providing care and services to the elderly, god help us.
    I would rather die than be placed in living hell that is ‘aged care’.
    Legalising euthanasia can’t come soon enough.

  8. Bill Hilliger

    The elderly Australian sheeples that voted for the coalition are now being shorn.

  9. AR

    Like carers at the other end of the age range,aka mothers, what odds that a return to keeping ones seniors in the family bosom attracts no government largesse?

  10. bluepoppy

    I don’t know enough about the work on these aged care reforms to make comment but as a big picture observation, when aged care is outsourced to the vulture capitalists and where profit overrides service and care, there will be heartache.

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