Just when you think this government can’t get any more sneaky. In a Human Rights Denied,virtually unnoticed move, the Coalition government has snuck an alarming last-minute amendment into an aged care bill before Parliament that removes the legal and human rights of aged care residents. The amendment removes the civil and criminal protections to which all other Australians are entitled. If a member of the public is restrained without their consent, the perpetrator can be charged. In contrast, an aged care resident who is restrained without their consent will have no legal recourse. Then the government has the gall to try to claim that this amendment relates to a recommendation of the Aged Care Royal Commission, when it is the complete opposite of what the royal commissioners recommended.
Source: Amended dignity: our elders denied their human rights again – Michael West Media
The Aged Care Royal Commissioners noted that a recipient of a Level 4 home care package worth $53,000 received on average just 8 hours and 45 minutes of support. Surely this was a big red flag. Yet the federal government has given the home care sector an extra $6.5 billion over next four years without putting in place any accountability measures to stop the rorting of the system.
Source: Profits over People: in-home care a cash bonanza for greedy aged providers – Michael West Media
A worrying coronavirus outbreak in a NSW aged care facility sparked by a Christmas in July event has ballooned out to 20 cases. The cluster at the Wyoming Residential Aged Care Facility in the Sydney suburb of Summer Hill included 18 residents and two staff members by Monday afternoon. Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the outbreak had been sparked by a super-spreader ‘Christmas in July’ event at the facility, which is owned by Hardi Aged Care and regulated by the federal government. “I understand that the actual numbers are believed to have occurred off a super-spreading event that occurred in the aged care facility,” Mr Hazzard said. “Sometimes it isn’t a good idea to have a ‘Christmas in July’ right in the middle of a pandemic, but I do understand that it is an effort to try and provide entertainment and support to residents.” Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said all of the infected residents lived on the top floor of the building. She said the entire floor, all 32 residents, had been taken to hospital either to be treated for the virus or as a precaution. “The reason for that is that some of them are obviously positive and others are close contacts of the positive c
Source: Christmas in July party sparks aged care cluster | The New Daily
The Budget cash splash in aged care has rendered the Royal Commission a political stunt as the billions in extra funding are not tied to reform measures or direct care and food for elderly Australians. Dr Sarah Russell reports.
Source: “Political Stunt”: how the Budget cash splash means profit to providers over aged care reform – Michael West
The highest level of home care support for older Australians costs $52,000. This $1000 a week buys, on average, less than nine hours of support. There’s plenty of skimming going on by aged care providers, some of whom are the nation’s biggest corporatised charities. With the budget expected to boost the number of home care packages without demanding any oversight, providers will be rubbing their hands with glee. Dr Sarah Russell reports.
Source: Aged Care fail – and now a Budget bonanza for Home Care freeloaders – Michael West
Every effort is being made by Scott Morrison to avoid facing this issue head on. Yet from Abbott to Morrison Aged-Care has always been ignored. If it were given any attention it only been to make it a cheaper rather than a better service. (ODT)
Numerous inquiries, reviews and consultations over the years have provided mounds of evidence of negligence, neglect and abuse in residential aged care homes. Yet the recommendations have mostly been ignored. Now we watch in horror as the number of elderly residents who die from Covid-19 continues to climb. The government is eventually going to have to explain to the nation how this entirely predictable tragedy occurred on its watch, writes Dr Sarah Russell.
via Covid-19 tragedy in aged care: whose side is the Coalition government on? – Michael West
Scott Morrison Named (ODT)
A former Coalition minister has slammed the federal government’s handling of aged care and called for major structural change in a submission that exposes years of failure to help older Australians.
One of Tony Abbott’s own ministers after the 2013 election, Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, says the government has not had the political fortitude to fix the sector after spurning calls for action when it took power.
She also names Prime Minister Scott Morrison as one of the ministers of the social service responsible for aged care in the federal cabinet during the time she says the government squandered a chance for reform.
via Government squandered opportunity for aged care reform: Concetta Fierravanti-Wells
The real issue, however, is that the aged care system is simply not fit for purpose in normal times and so was inevitably destined to fail when under this sort of extreme pressure.
Hunt on Tuesday praised the care his late father received in a home. “I cannot imagine better care that my family and my father could have got.”
But Andrews said “I wouldn’t want my mum in some of these places”, an observation many distraught families will relate to.
The interim report of the royal commission into aged care, released late last year, was scathing, declaring older people and their families were left “isolated and powerless in this hidden-from-view system”.
COVID has provided a tragic real time vindication of the commission’s observation.
View from The Hill: Aged care crisis reflects poor preparation and a broken system
Anticipating the program, and the likely response to its stories of neglect, poor food and failures of care, newly installed Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a royal commission into the $22-billion-a-year sector.
But there was more bad publicity to come. In January, 7.30 broadcast a story about the use of chemical and physical restraints in some nursing homes, which sent further shockwaves through the community.
Governments often make funding announcements when they are in a political tight spot, and need to look like they are doing something.
But the particular nature of the $320 million payment announced in February — then re-announced in March — then re-announced in the federal budget — has caused disquiet even among those who benefit from it, the owners and shareholders of residential aged-care facilities.
Well, the sector says that, since 2014, between pausing and reducing indexation of ongoing residential care subsidies, rejigging the funding formula and other changes, the current Government has reduced funding to the sector by about $3 billion.
via Aged care funding package is mediocre policy fed by mediocre politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)