Lateline carried another report this week on mistreatment of aged care residents, leading the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) to renew calls for the major political parties and key independents to make aged care an election issue.
Federal Secretary Lee Thomas also reiterated the ANMF’s zero tolerance approach to any form of mental or physical abuse of older, vulnerable people in aged care facilities. “The allegations raised on Tuesday night’s ‘Lateline’ program were truly distressing – now is the time for bipartisan action so no one else suffers,” she said.
Emma Alberici presents ‘Lateline’
You can watch the Lateline program or read the transcipt of interviews here.
As part of its aged care election agenda, the ANMF is seeking commitment from the ALP, Coalition, Greens and key Independents, on identified solutions, including:
- A registered nurse on site 24/7 at all stand-alone aged care facilities
- Minimum staffing levels and skill mix available to meet the needs of nursing home residents, particularly those who are frail and require complex care or have dementia
- An annual review of aged care funding to ensure that wages paid to aged care staff are the same as those in the public health system
- A national registration scheme for all AINs who provide nursing care
- Enhanced transparency and accountability in funding to ensure that every dollar spent is focused on the quality of care received by residents in aged care.
- Not enough staff, adequate supervision of care provided, knowledge, experience … all due to lack of adequate funding, it is a disgrace. Majority of aged care nurses are wonderful, they are not valued or supported, they do not receive the same pay…
- I don’t believe it’s due to lack of funding at all, it’s about the proprietors of these facilities cutting back on the delivery of care in order to increase profits. Why do you think they employ ACFI Coordinators? To wring the last cent they possibly can from the Government in order to line their own pockets. I’m a Palliative Care nurse specialist who went into Aged Care to make a difference but was met with obstacles left, right and centre because it is NOT about providing a high standard of care. I arrived with good intentions and was cut off at the knees while dying residents screamed in pain and experienced all manner of suffering. Try to introduce best practice and you’ll be booted out through the front door so fast your head will spin.
- Aged care is low on the priority list for our government despite the need of this health care sector. We have poor staff ratios, often one RN to over 100 residents. Care workers who have eight weeks of training and then expected to go out and work with our elderly. Often these individuals are from our culturally and linguistically diverse population as wages are so poor. (You can get more for sitting on your bottom scanning gtoceries at Aldi.) So it is no surprise that issues arise. This just the tip of the iceberg.
- Lack of nursing staff, lack of morals and respect for patients and staff, patient ratios are too high and of course lack of money and time to give proper care.
- It does not matter how long a child remains in hospital they are not called ‘bed-blockers’! Unless as a society we are prepared to invest in older people then we should not throw stones at one industry. We are all failing – some more than others and elder abuse should never be tolerated. In the public sector there is mandatory child abuse education and reporting, maybe something similar should occur. But then again with so much neglect of older Australians in the public sector, the reporting would be through the roof!
- It’s really an area that you have to have a passion for; nurses need more specialised training for aged care, instead of one RN and a handful of AINs trying to get things done … and I am NOT having a go at anyone who works in aged care…
- I am an AIN in an aged care facility and the pressure is so great because of staffing issues. These people deserve to be looked after with loving care but unfortunately the patient to nurse ratio does not allow this. The AINs are pushed to the limit, stressed and run down. It’s about time the government looked into this situation and introduced mandatory nurse to patient ratios otherwise nothing is going to change, it is only going to get worse.
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