THE AGED CARE SYSTEM AND THE LONG WAIT
Residential care is becoming unaffordable for many frail aged who prefer to remain in their own home. This will mean more hospital stays as they find it increasingly more difficult to manage at home while they wait for My Aged Care assessments before they can access any initial or additional services in their own home. Moreover, after the $1.872 BILLION funding cuts to aged care, service providers began to charge more to clients for services. The government has restricted providers of residential services from charging more but has a further $2 Billion in funding cuts to roll out over the next 4 years. These are funding cuts to physical care not to room accomodation costs. The government is now using this funding for more places for InHome services as the aged prefer to stay in their own homes. However, clients using InHome services who are on a fee waiver are being asked to pay for some services that were previously free. My petition posted on this site relates to cuts made in 2015 and is now out of date. The government did not respond. It has surfaced that some providers of aged care services overcharged and claimed in some cases for non-existent services. This is unfortunate for other providers who have done the right thing. Some of these undercharged for services. Now all providers have been tarred with the same brush and all have to bear the funding cuts. These cuts are not the only issue now because the frail aged, wherever they live are at risk of neglect and abuse, because care is not closely monitored by providers. Elderly neglect and abuse is becoming more prevalent and there are no strategies in place to monitor staff who engage in these practices. A recent questionnaire to clients to ensure compliance to government requirements for quality and efficiency of care was poorly designed and there were no questions relating to disrespect, neglect,or abuse. The Aged Care Complaints Commission Service relies on individuals to report to them on cases of abuse. There are other centres where people can report these things but most incidents go unoticed and are not reported. A few cases that have been reported to the police were not acted upon. A few cases have been exposed to the press especially when people were hospitalised or died. If you know or see anything amiss there are Aged Rights Advocacy Services in Australian states who can give advice and support.
Written by Carmen Verne