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Aged care operators making a mint out of poor service

01 August, 2013

The Combined Pensioners & Superannuants Association (CPSA) has backed a recent report by television program Lateline and put the spotlight firmly on the quality of service being provided by aged care facilities in Australia.

"Lateline showcased just how poor the care in some nursing homes can be and the brick wall that residents and their families face when trying to get answers from nursing homes and the Department about inadequate care," CPSA senior policy advisor, Amelia Christie said.

"Industry responses to Lateline's coverage have largely fallen into two categories: claims that aged care is overregulated (a surprising summation to make given that most of the appalling cases presented occurred in fully accredited nursing homes) and that the aged care system needs more funding from government.

"The first report by the Aged Care Financing Authority (ACFA) turns this second assertion on its head by reporting that average profit margins for aged care facilities are 12 per cent.

"This shows that aged care is a very healthy industry financially, while the health and well-being of residents is being left at the wayside by some providers.

"CPSA calls on providers to take responsibility for adequate staffing and to put residents' care before profits.

"CPSA continues to call for a more robust accreditation system, one that focuses on the mental and physical health of nursing home residents," Christie said.

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Ray McIntosh | Monday, August 5, 2013, 1:08 PM
I have worked in Age Care for over forty years. Over the past thirty years the standards have been set for all and the results are excellent. The sadness generated by the ill infomraed LAteline program and any other group who are too lazy to check facts is visible in our community of care. The photos were of a severely demented woman who does ot have the executive functions to identify risk. This means the Home has to decide between restraining her so that she does not fall or giving her a quality of life with knowledge that falls are a high risk and injury in a frail aged woman is a potential. If the home was that bad why did the family not move her or make a complaint to the Complaints Unit? As I understand the break down of assaults on the elderly is predominantly inthe family home and about 6% occur in aged care. That also includes resident to resident. MAggie Beer recently told the world the food in the Aged Care was awful. I beleive our freshly cooked food is superiod to her range of commercial offerings. We always have seafood for Easter, ?Baked dinners for the weekend ( e.g. Roast Pork and Roast Chicken), Chook , Lamb and PAvlova's for Bush Chsristmas and traditiona English fare for the end of the year Xmas. As well we recognise ethnic specific meals for the population we have in our community. I am tired of the constant barrage of criticism from people who may or may not be evidence based in their allegations. I know many families are feeling guilty about their decision to seek help when they cannot provide safe care themselves. I think the families who do have issues should atemtp to resolve them at the facility level and if neccessary go to the Complaints Unit. We have Parliament every month to empower our residents and families and actively encourage them to fearlessly complain and test our systems for potential improvements. We also have a culture of collaboration and constructive/positive development of any perceived weaknesses. With monthly newsletters which have the minutes of Parliament and regular communication It works. Why dont we here stories about the 200,000 happily cared for residents instead of a very small number of questionable but "newsworthy" black opportunities?
Kevin Rocks | Monday, August 5, 2013, 1:35 PM
Once again lets demonise the whole aged care sector! What about naming those organizations allegedly at fault? For CPSA to call for a more robust accreditation system shows how badly they as on organization are informed. I wont even bother to comment on the claim of how much money organizations are making at the expense of residents. Here is an open invitation for Ms.Christie to visit/ inspect/ and discuss aged care matters at our facilty---------Holy Family Services at Marayong.Sorry I am heartly sick of cheap shots being taken at an industry which largely does a wonderful job with extremely dedicated staff.
Grace | Wednesday, August 7, 2013, 6:04 PM
Unfortunately therearesome facilities who let us down, but I blame the accreditation system. There should be no fore-warning about when accreditation is going to take place. It is a well-known fact that some facilities put on extra staff and bring in equipment just for the time that the accreditation team are there. How can they get the true picture of what is really happening in these places?
Kevin Rocks | Thursday, August 8, 2013, 9:44 AM
Sorry Grace you are not correct in this as the accreditation agency perform a set number of unannounced visits. In fact we have one today---------we actually enjoy them as it gives us the opportunity of showing the quality of our service.
Grace | Saturday, August 10, 2013, 10:25 PM
Well Kevin, it might not be correct where you work but I have spoken with many people who have experienced it. Are you telling them that they are lying?
Lyndell | Monday, August 12, 2013, 8:35 PM
I have worked in Aged Care for over 30 years and was a Trainer in Aged Care until approx 3 years ago. Unfortunately the level of care provided to our elderly is not what it should be. There is simply not enough staff on any shift and many staff are not trained to a standard that they are fully competent. Staff may have the knowledge to dress and shower a resident but often lack the knowledge of how to observe changes and also on how to document so there for they don't document and that's the problem . Staff are often bullied into taking short cuts. More training and owners should have a limit on how many of these places they can own. Put our residents first,it's a wonderful feeling to go home at the end of your shift and know you have cared for these people just as you would like to be cared for. Think about it ..........