Action and not talk is needed on nursing home crisis

 

Contributed by Ben Wilson

The nursing home scandal keeps on going. What is coming to light now is not new. Vulnerable Australians have been exploited and mistreated for years.  The industry has been a vehicle to grab government handouts for as long.

Scott Morrison, our current prime minister is personally benefiting. This is the reason why it has become a special problem for him, and to deflect attention, he has eventually tilted to an inquiry.

An inquiry is not needed. The situation calls for decisive action.

Older Australians who, as a rule, have made a lifetime contribution to the nation, have earned the right to be treated respectfully in their twilight years. This means that society has an obligation to provide the resources necessary to live properly and have a stimulating sand meaningful life.

For a start. Nursing homes must be policed to ensure there is no abuse, that those in them are properly fed, and just as importantly, that every individual continues to have meaningful life. Our older Australians should not be treated as a commodity to spend the least possible on and to squeeze the last cent out of.

nursing homes that do not provide adequate resources should not be allowed to operate.

How many choose to end their life before their time, because they can find no escape from a life that has become so intolerable, that there is no point in continuing?

Fifteen years of research at Monash University found 3,000 preventable and premature deaths, according to Professor Joe Ibrahim. “All we’ve done is look at the tip of the iceberg,” he added. This is damning.

There will always be those who need intensive care. They have a right to Have their needs properly met. There are also many who would be much better off still connected to family and a community, to which they could continue to contribute. They end up in nursing homes, because of the lack of available resources to support them.

Keeping the bulk of older Australians in the community and valuing them as a national treasure of experience and knowledge to be passed on, would reduce the net cost on society.

But so long as they are regarded as a commodity to make a profit out of and the connection between owners of nursing homes and the political establishment remain, this is not going to happen.

A nursing home has become somewhere where you are parked to die. We should have never let it come to this. Australia must do much better than this.

2 Comments on "Action and not talk is needed on nursing home crisis"

  1. More staff would go a long way to helping. From a carers point it is a difficult and demanding job. Residents can spit at you, hit you, bite you, throw things at you, scratch you etc and if you so much as hold their wrist to stop them it can be classified as elder abuse. There is no such thing as a lunch break as no staff to care for residents if you do. As residents loose ability they try and control their lives by any means available and become more demanding ie attention seeking behaviour. More properly trained staff urgently needed. Staff burn out and this should be recognised.

  2. Several of us who have had direct experiences of the earlier and present flawed system of alleged “care for the elderly” some watching family members suffer abuse, neglect etcand other family working in medical field directly with the elderly who suffer, have come to a decision.
    None of us, not one, will go into so called “care for the Aged”. Now I had better speak for myself. When it is clear that I have little time before I need such care, that is UNLESS it were GENUINELY AVAILABLE which it is not, I will pull the pin, kill myself. This is a far better option, even if it may need to be done a little earlier that nature would determine, than to go through months or years of abuse, mistreatment and neglect. No problems really, after all, death is the last great experience of life.

    Unfortunately, due to the privatisation of aged care, the profit before people of the system, the governmental neglect and underfunding we have no other option.

    Just thought younger people than me should know what they themselves may face some day.

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