The interim report of the Aged Care Royal Commission has raised serious concerns.
The interim report of the Aged Care Royal Commission has raised serious concerns. Contributed

Seniors demand action NOW on Royal Commission findings

THE Aged Care Royal Commission is serving up one woeful tale one after another.

Ugly stories are reported daily detailing the many levels of abuse of elderly people, underpayment of staff, unreasonable cost of care and enormous waiting lists.

With each painful story a vivid picture has emerged of a broken, cruel system that is carelessly manipulating a vulnerable group of people.

These stories have raised questions about the final resting place for the huge amounts of monetary subsidies handed out to aged care facility owners. And the level of qualifications required for aged care workers?

There are further pressing questions relating to the remuneration for workers, together with the use of chemical restraints and the sad reality of younger people being stuck in aged care.

The Royal Commission has called for the "cruel and harmful" system to be reformed and added that the terrible state of age care "diminishes Australia as a nation".

The Commissioners have said comprehensive reforms will be outlined in the inquiry's final report in November 2020.

Another year until the final report!

The Seniors News Facebook community is responding to the interim report with a clear message - Not Good Enough. Our followers have expressed their disgust with the system and a suspicion that any reforms will be too little or too late to improve the system.

One man was so disheartened, he wrote on our Facebook page:

"And the governments from all sides will just look at it, have a little debate on it to make it look as if they really care, and then maybe something small will happen in about 10 years. And then they will probably blame the inaction on whoever was in power prior to whoever is in power now whilst doing nothing themselves."

Another followed up with: "Everybody knows this already. Get to and get results asap ... my God. How many more precious elderlies suffer before an answer is found. Please find a solution ... no more suffering."

And: "So hope this appalling treatment will stop, no excuses are good enough, compassion costs nothing."

Other comments related to poor staffing numbers, inadequate qualifications and administration levels.

"They have too many tiers of management who won't make a decision, far more administration than is necessary and a real lack of AINs (Assistant in Nursing) and ENs (Enrolled Nurse) on the floor. It is disgraceful. They are the hardest working staff in homes and the CEOs should cut their own salary, a lot of management and admin and double AINs."

And: "Look at staffing in My Aged Care, the assessors are poorly trained on older people's real needs. Social support for example - what's that, more physio and podiatry a better option."

Another person thought major fines rather than big handouts might prompt better treatment from aged care centres:

"Get the Government to give them a big cash handout. No way! Most of these facilities are run by private companies and many are run by churches. So, let's put such heavy fines on them if they don't pull their socks up and do the right thing, or fine the life out of them. And I mean in the millions."

Federal Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said the Government was putting a lot more home care packages into the system but said the way they were delivered into the market needed reform.

"I think given that there's about $600 million of funds that are tied up with packages that's not actually being utilised to provide care, there's also some reform of the system that's required and we'll start looking at that now," Mr Colbeck told reporters.

The Royal Commission said it was clear the Government's additional packages would not satisfy the current and growing demand for home care, given the extent of the pre-existing waiting list.

It also said there was no reason to delay action on concerns regarding chemical restraints and younger people being stuck in aged care.

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