Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022

The report released Tuesday by Older Persons Advocacy Network showed that along with care failure of the type revealed in the six-week-long St. Basil trial, unwanted hospitalization in a home and long waits for home support are worst problems in a sector at the center of controversy for years.

“Older people are still enduring confrontational experiences,” said Craig Gear, executive director of the Older Persons Advocacy Network, which helps people in elderly care and their families or those receiving publicly funded care at home.

The network’s report released on Tuesday identified other issues, including:

  • lack of communication with families during the pandemic, especially around visitation restrictions;
  • abuse of permanent power of attorney, financial abuse and the increased risk of abuse due to COVID-19, which reduces contact for families with the cared for;
  • extended waiting times for home care packages;
  • problems with people from non-English speaking backgrounds accessing the system.

Sir. Gear said the report reflected many of the issues raised in the Aged Care Royal Commission, which led the Morrison government in May to increase funding for elderly care by $ 17.7 billion.

Part of the increased funding included $ 99.6 million for support programs such as that operated by Older Persons Advocacy Network.

Minister for Elderly Care, Richard Colbeck, said such programs would “ensure that those seeking support are empowered to make informed decisions about their care, understand their rights and have the support to resolve complaints when they arise in a time of great change “.

The report tells the story of an unnamed 95-year-old male resident who lost his dentures at a nursing home. The home was convinced that the dentures were not lost, and repeatedly tried to put a few dentures into his mouth. The man’s daughter, however, discovered that these prostheses belonged to a female resident. New dentures were ordered, but they did not arrive during repeated lockdowns, and without teeth, the resident could only eat pureed food. He went from 90 kg to 48 kg. “The resident is now palliative, bedridden with pressure ulcers that are difficult to deal with,” the report said.

Sir. Gear said the additional funding from the federal government was extremely important, but also only “a major first step … Further investment in and transformation of the elderly care system is required”.

Among those who would like to stay out of geriatric care is 89-year-old Laurie Mein, who lives at home in Lower Plenty and receives a federal care package that makes this possible.

Mrs. Mein has always been socially active and found the pandemic extremely difficult because it kept her away from her five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren and from various activities, including her church and what she calls “Grandma’s playgroup” – a weekly gathering organized of the Banyule Council, of which she has been a part for four years.

“It has been great, we are 14 or 16, and we do things together instead of being alone at home. Once or twice we have been to the store. Last week we went to Sugarloaf Park. ”

Laurie Mein, 89, is receiving a home care package from the federal government and wants to stay away from elderly care and in her Lower Plenty home.

Laurie Mein, 89, is receiving a home care package from the federal government and wants to stay away from elderly care and in her Lower Plenty home.Credit:Scott McNaughton

Ms Mein said the understanding of the various care packages offered was “just a nightmare” and something few people could follow. Her daughter, Julianne East, said navigating what was available was problematic for older people and their families. “The systems need to be streamlined so that it works for the elderly instead of working for the public organizations responsible for it.”

Ms East said caregivers also tended to assume incapacities among older people. “They will tend to contact me instead of contacting mom. It’s like because you’re old, you’re not competent.”

Mrs Mein said on Tuesday she wanted to avoid elderly care if she could. “My mom was in a home and she had a lovely one, but I still want to have my own home and look out and see my own garden.”

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