Australia's parental care system is a shocking tale of neglect that needs a complete overhaul and not just needs patching, say royal commissioners.
The system designed to care for older Australians is miserably inadequate and failing, the royal commissioners concluded after hearing horrific evidence of widespread substandard care.
They plan to recommend a fundamental overhaul of the entire system, including its financing in their November 2020 final report.
But Commissioners want urgent action to prevent people from dying while waiting for support in home care, to curb the excessive use of drugs to & # 39; and young people with disabilities who are trapped in elderly care.
Elderly care services are insufficiently funded, usually poorly managed and all too often unsafe, according to the destructive interim report of the royal commission.
Australia's elderly care system is a shocking story about neglect that needs a complete overhaul and not just needs repair, say royal commissioners (stock image)
& # 39; It's a shocking story about neglect & # 39 ;, said commissioners Richard Tracey QC – who died earlier this month – and wrote Lynelle Briggs.
& # 39; The neglect we have found so far in this royal commission is far from the best that can be done.
& # 39; It is rather a sad and shocking system that is reducing Australia as a nation. & # 39;
The cruel and harmful system must be changed, they said.
& # 39; Our work over the past year has shown that a system needs to be reformed and redesigned – not just. & # 39;
Stakeholders have repeatedly argued that a significant increase in public funding for care for the elderly cannot wait for the final report and recommendations, which will come from Ms Briggs and the new committee chair Tony Pagone QC.
But Mr. Tracey and Mrs. Briggs made it clear that limited interventions, of the type that this area of government policy had been pursuing for far too long & # 39; & # 39 ;, are not sufficient to provide an elderly care system that meets the needs of the elderly.
They said that in the best case, short-term solutions temporarily prevent the worst problems and, in the worst case, produce another set of unintended results that require further investigation, assessments and public funding, without addressing the underlying problems.
They also criticized a sector-wide focus on the need to increase funding and a culture of apathy about essential care needs that helped the elder care system to hide from the spotlight.
Older people and their families are left isolated and powerless in the hidden vision system, they said by rejecting the idea that most care & # 39; consumer-focused & # 39; is.
& # 39; Despite appearances, despite rhetoric, there is little choice with care for the elderly. & # 39;
The embarrassing list of problems included terrible food, troubled residents sitting or lying in urine or faeces, a high incidence of seizures, and inadequate prevention and treatment of wounds that sometimes led to death.
Residents often became physically reluctant to make them easier to manage, and there was a widespread prescription of drugs to stun them.
The core of the problems was an elderly care system that depersonalized the elderly.
The royal commission said there was no reason to postpone action against chemical restrictions because young people were stuck in elderly care and in providing substantial additional funding to immediately improve access to home care.
Unfortunately, the system designed to care for older Australians is inadequate and fails, the Royal Commissioners concluded after hearing horrific evidence of widespread under-care (stock image)
Waiting times up to a year or longer for home care at a higher level are unacceptable, with many people waiting, the committee said.
Richard Colbeck, Minister for the Elderly, said the government was working to improve all three urgent areas identified by the committee, with a focus on ensuring funding for home care sites that flowed through and were not in the treasury.
One of the points criticized by the government was not getting young people from old people's homes, with the interim report that it was a & # 39; national shame & # 39; called.
It said that efforts – more than a decade – have failed to reduce the nearly 6,000 Australians under 65 living in residential care for the elderly.
And it has destroyed the existing government action plan to halve the flow of young people to care for the elderly by 2025.
The plan – released in March this year – lacks ambition, the & # 39; limited & # 39; objectives are unlikely to be achieved and should not be considered as a solution, the committee said.
The lack of understanding of the needs of young people in care for the elderly in combination with the relentless flow of young people to facilities for the elderly indicates a lack of sufficient government interest in the plight of these people and a degree of complacency about the capacity of existing policy institutions to solve the problem & # 39 ;.
In September, Lisa Corcoran, who is paralyzed and limited to a wheelchair, told about her desperate desire to leave the nursing home where she lived for the past six years.
The 43-year-old described her sense of isolation when the residents around her died and that she was forced to live away from her family – her grandchildren too scared to visit because of the screams and howls.
& # 39; My main goal is to take the bastard out of the nursing home, & # 39; she told the research.
Mrs. Corcoran is now awaiting relocation to assisted disabled facilities through the NDIS.
She said that life in elderly care had given her the feeling that her rights and the sense of respect had disappeared.
She wants to live the life she wants, but feels that her rights have been taken away.
& # 39; We are people, everyone and people are looking for respect and we are all equal. I feel like I have lost that respect. I have. & # 39;
Another major problem is the fact that some older Australians are dying while waiting for access to elderly care.
Those responsible for the royal commission threw the elderly care system as a & # 39; cruel lottery & # 39 ;.
& # 39; Because that is, in fact, what the current system of prioritizing and managing waiting lists is: a cruel lottery in which some people may die before they find out if they actually have & # 39; won & # 39;. & # 39;
Even getting through the & # 39; front door & # 39; The Australian elderly care system is far from being a welcoming and easy-to-navigate experience, the commissioners said.
Many people in the 80s and 90s who try to use the phone and the internet-based My Aged Care access system find it frightening, confronting and confusing, the report said.
The commissioners labeled My Aged Care as a costly exercise in which people had received insufficient information about elderly care and how it was accessible.
People continued to take care of themselves to navigate their own way in the system, but faced limited choices.
Useful information is the exception, not the rule, the commissioners said.
Elderly people who are eligible for home care support have to wait a long time before a package is assigned before they have to find a service provider.
The commissioners were concerned that more than 16,000 people died awaiting a home care package in 2017/18.
Others went to residential care early.
& # 39; In any case, this is a cruel and discriminatory system that puts great pressure on older Australians and their family members, & # 39; said the report.
& # 39; It is shocking that the explicit desire of the elderly to stay in their own home for as long as possible, with the support they need, is trivialized by the expectation that they will make it.
& # 39; It is an unsafe practice. It is neglect. & # 39;
Those who made the challenging transition to caring for the elderly often mourned for everything they had lost.
& # 39; They become & # 39; just a resident & # 39 ;, just another body that needs to be washed, fed and mobilized, their value is determined by the amount they bring, & # 39; said the commissioners.
RESPONSE TO THE AGED ROYAL COMMISSION INTERMEDIATE REPORT
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT:
Elderly care minister Richard Colbeck said that the government is already introducing more home care packages into the system, but the way they are delivered needs to be reformed, there are new rules for restrictions and quick action can be taken against young people going to elder care.
Senator Colbeck and Health Minister Greg Hunt said: & # 39; The issues raised today in the interim report have challenged governments, industry and the community for many decades and require a coordinated response from all involved. & # 39;
Anglicare Australia said the interim report is a wake-up call for the sector and for the government. Roland Manderson, Acting Executive Director: & We need a national commitment to end these years of neglect and make the in-depth investments needed to build a system that values people and takes good care of them. & # 39;
Leading body Services Peak Age Australia CEO Sean Rooney: & # 39; This is a beacon for immediate reform, a crucial indicator to ensure that older Australians receive quality assurance and respect that they need and deserve. & # 39;
Non-profit providers peak organization Aged and Community Services CEO Patricia Sparrow: & # 39; Strengthening and improving elderly care in Australia requires more than just new rules. New financing solutions and large-scale community education about aging and care for the elderly are absolutely crucial. & # 39;
Carolyn Smith of United Voice: & # 39; This report should be the start of urgent action to save our elderly care sector and workforce. & # 39;
THE FEDERAL OPPOSITION:
Spokesperson Julie Collins from Shadow aged care: & # 39; It's a shame that the elderly in a rich country like Australia can't get the care they need. & # 39;
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