This week Crikey readers wrote to the letters about two major issues facing Australia: the country's fraught aged care sector -- including the greater issues in health legislation for elderly Australians -- and allegations of sexual abuse permeating Australia's political sector.
Chris Kemp writes: I was an aged care worker for about two years in 2009-10 -- sometimes as a personal care worker or assistant, sometimes a nursing assistant. Unable to secure full-time work in my usual employment, my job network provider offered a free "introduction to aged care" course, and I found myself working night shifts in a secure unit in a not-for-profit residential facility.
I would have about 20 residents to care for in a seven-and-a-half-hour shift. All had varying degrees of dementia, many with high-care requirements. Duties included toileting, assisting with meals, changing linen, dressings and continence aids, cleaning, assistance with walking, responding to emergency calls, dispensing medications ... the list was long, all the while ensuring the resident's personal care plan was adhered to.