A while ago I decided not to write on any subject matter to do with politics. BUT I am so appalled at the government’s attitude towards - and dealing (or not dealing) with - the current crisis in aged care that I just had to add my voice.
The aged care sector has been sadly neglected for many years and has been in strife throughout the three years of Covid19.
Since the Omicron virus arrived in Australia in November, nearly 600 aged care residents have died with it - or from it. This latest ‘version’ of the pandemic is spreading like wildfire throughout aged care accommodation and yet dozens of these places are still waiting for the necessary booster shots for residents and staff.
Wasn’t the need for these vaccinations foreseen and wasn’t the administration of these jabs promised some time ago?
Staff – what’s left of them – are exhausted after working horrendous hours trying to care for those in their ‘care’.
There are THOUSANDS of vulnerable residents in lockdown. They feel as though they are in prison as rules of isolation and segregation are enforced (to little effect, it seems).
Meanwhile we hear how ‘our’ Aged Care minister has spent three days at the cricket, ignoring the need to attend the Senate hearing dealing with aged care. (He has been absent from more meetings on the subject than those he has attended).
And now, as the crisis begins to make headlines, the government announces it will form a “Task Force” to study the issues - and collect data concerning deaths. (You could not make this up – as the saying goes!).
A TASK FORCE. to COLLECT DATA!
In 2018 a Royal Commission into Aged Care was set up. The resulting report was issued in March of 2021, with the main distressing finding being headed “Neglect”.
And what has been done since? Bugger all!
Sure, no one knew the extent of the pandemic – although careful observation of what was happening overseas should have given Australia a ‘heads up’ on what was to be expected.
But little notice was taken of the Royal Commission’s reports.
All hopeless, all distressing, all upsetting, all frustrating and all simply horrifying.
One of my main current concerns is this awful attitude of politicians – and sometimes the general population – of mentioning the fact that some of these poor, precious people who have died, were “already palliative” – indicating that they ‘were going to die anyway’.
How disgusting. How disrespectful and how heartless.
AND…if these people were ‘going to die anyway’, WHY were they denied the chance to have a loved one by their side as they died? WHY, if their son, daughter, brother, sister, spouse, whoever, was masked up and wanted to be present, WHY did these elderly and vulnerable people have to die ALONE?
Am I missing something?
Aged Care residents are being neglected at a far worse rate than stated in the original report. Many are alone, uncared for, unbathed, untreated, unfed (in some cases) and left to die alone – while the virus spreads seemingly unrestricted.
I feel helpless and frustrated. But most of all I feel disgusted with the people who are supposed to be supportive, both in a $$$ way and in a decent way, of their citizens.
By the way…75% of aged care providers are assessed as ‘profitable’.
The aged care sector generates about $26 BILLION a year in revenue, with providers making over $2 billion in profits. 35% of 'homes' are run by ‘for profit’ companies.
Only about 9% are government run aged care ‘homes’.
In many cases, residents themselves contribute billions of $$$ for their accommodation. The $$ from “refundable accommodation deposits” contributed by each resident, ranging from hundreds of thousands $$ to millions $$, are used by providers.
It’s a tricky deal to understand. Not sure how ethical it is.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.