Journalist and author Amal Awad appearing on the ABC's 'The Drum'.
Journalist and author Amal Awad appearing on the ABC's 'The Drum'. ABC TV

Government allowed 'unholy union' in aged care sector

THE Australian Government has been slammed for turning a blind eye to the aged care sector and allowing an environment that has bred "dodgy operators".

The fallout from the explosive joint investigation by Fairfax Media and the ABC's Four Corners into the industry is still being felt across the nation with one of the country's biggest provider's, Aveo, forced to react to some disturbing allegations.

Talking on ABC's 'The Drum', journalist and author Amal Awad said the issue was multi-faceted but ultimately, the industry had fallen through the cracks of the government to create an "unholy communion".

"I think what's happened is the government really hasn't monitored the situation enough," Awad said.

"So its created a vacuum and that's when dodgy operators can come in and take advantage of these people.

"Also there is a big difference between a retirement village and aged care facility and it sounds like a bit of an unholy communion there.

"So that's why more robust regulations are necessary."

Awad also said allegations pointed to an alarming fact about the nation.

"What's happened is Australia is critically unprepared for the fact we have an ageing population," she said.

"Our family structures have changed we don't have the traditional nuclear family anymore where parents can rely on their children to look after them."

Social researcher Eliane Miles, also talking on the program, said seniors looking to move into aged care weren't making the decision based on growing their real estate portfolio.

"Independent living makes up about six per cent of Australian aged over 65," Miles said.

"And most Australians when they end up in independent living realise that's not a commercial financial choice they're making.  

"They're not making an investment, they're not buying an investment property.

"And so they make that decision because they want to be in an environment that's safe and secure."

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