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Magical thinking and the aged-care crisis
05-07-2020, 02:52 PM
Post: #1
Magical thinking and the aged-care crisis
This is a lengthy essay that covers a wide spectrum of issues concerning aging and care of the elderly. It takes a while to get there but makes some very powerful points before the end.

Quote:Magical thinking and the aged-care crisis

Utopian fantasies and dystopian realities
by Sarah Holland-Batt

HOW DID AUSTRALIAN aged care reach its current nadir? Countless inquiries and reviews have probed this question; postmortem after post­mortem has dissected the policy and regulatory failures that have wrought the present abysmal state of affairs; a surfeit of recommendations have been handed down; revised guidelines and principles adopted; advisory committees formed; stakeholders consulted – yet here we are, a prosperous nation with one of the worst aged-­care systems in the developed world. And in spite of the scorching spotlight of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety – the final findings of which are due in November 2020 – there is seemingly little political will or vision for change, and no clear road map ahead.

The more I think about the aged-­care impasse, the more I have come to see the sector’s seemingly intractable issues as symptomatic of a more fundamental failure: one that underpins the litany of ineffectual policy reforms, deficient regulation, negligent provider practices and lamentable outcomes experienced by many aged-­care recipients. This failure is not unique to politicians or aged-­care providers – but their failure in this respect is more consequential. It is a collective failure that implicates us all. Fundamentally, the failure of Australian aged care is a failure of imagination.

That is just the intro. Link here if you want to read more -

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05-07-2020, 04:34 PM
Post: #2
RE: Magical thinking and the aged-care crisis
I'm halfway through it and haven't found a thing that I didn't know or suspect already. It's a sobering read to see (and think about it) all at once though.

It's nothing new though, other than the foreign investments involved. Nursing/retirement 'homes' have been ghastly options ever since I can remember. But back then only the unluckiest, those with no families or kids who hated them, ended up there. Wives weren't working then and were expected to be carers for the oldies. Then again, 'oldies' didn't live as long as do now due to medical science advances. Nor were expectations of 'standards' so high. People were old in their 60s they retired at 65 and died at 67 to 70.
People I knew whom I thought were 'very old' were barely into their 70s, and the one 'really old' man I remember well was a staggering 85 when he died. People are just beginning to wind down at that age now. (some of sooner, but that's life.)

So what we see now as harsh in the treatment of the elderly has to be separated from some nostalgic view of it being great in the past, it wasn't.

I've been around the traps long enough to know that the 'care' factor varies enormously, and that those in smaller regional areas are 'kinder' than those in the cities.
The 'local' factor ensures that everybody knows somebody who knows your gran, and if you don't treat her right it will get back and you'll get the 'stare'.

But in the cities nobody knows, or cares about, anyone else and the standards are 'jungle'.
The subsidies are killer aren't they? And the tax dodging to enrich fat businessmen in Singapore and London and everywhere but here. But what's the alternative?? The "not for profits?"
... Newmarch. Anglicare. All the money went into building a fancy funeral waiting room to con in the customers.

The Catholics built one in Cessnock that looked like the local branch of the Mariott! 5 star.
Almost had to put Mum in it so I read up a bit about it. Everything had 'extra costs' involved. They took the bond money, they took the accommodation fee, they took the government subsidies, and then they charged extra for 'assistive furniture' i.e. a lift chair, and 'extra care' which should have come under the standard rates. When I questioned them about it the answer was "oh, that won't apply to your Mum dear" ...well maybe not then, but in the future?? I'll bet it would!

Some of those joints charge thousands per month for 'extras' when they offer no more than standard care.

But I'll keep reading, maybe she, like me, found the odd one that treated the oldies a kindly as could reasonably be expected. Some of those old dears are not what most people think of as 'dear old vulnerable people' some of them leave no other options than to be sedated due to dementia driven violence, or screaming and upsetting everyone else, and some of them are just vile old bastards for the hell of it.

Residential aged carer is not the kind of gig anyone but the most 'sainted' would choose, and only the most coldly desperate would take on for the money . So you get the extremes of the best and worst of people filling the 'care' staffing. Good luck with it.

...back to finishing it after tea. There needs to be tighter oversight of these places. Too many layers of vested interests in it. Too much distance between the investors, and the carers, too many layers of "management" all draining the subsidies. Good luck with sorting that out too.
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