Ageing Bonanza

Credits: Aged Care Crisis would like to acknowledge Dr Michael J Wynne - who is a true and tireless supporter (and powerhouse of information) for both Australia and overseas based issues - including the corporatisation of both medical care and aged care, and the dire consequences of them. 

The following web pages examines the way in which the ageing population, and particularly the potential of the baby boomers, to be exploited for profit has influenced the marketplace and government. It looks at the way the provision of care of the aged has been shifted by government policy from a community humanitarian service to an aggressive and competitive marketplace.

It documents the intrusion of private for profit entities, of market listed companies and of the banks and financial institutions into the sector.  It summarises the impact of these changes on retirement villages, nursing homes, home care, and the various sectors of health care. There are links to pages which explore these issues and the sectors of the aged care industry in greater depth within these pages.

Nursing Homes Introductory Page: The link below summarises the history of nursing home corporatisation in Australia and compares it with what happened in the USA. It gives an overview of the story of nursing home care in Australia as well as the role of government and the accreditation and complaints mechanism.

It looks at the predicament of nurses, of residents and relatives, as well as the ambiguous position of not for profit charitable organisations in this marketplace. It examines the different sorts of operators in the for profit sector. Each sector links to pages which expand and amplify the sections on this page.

For Profit Nursing Home Companies: In Australia commercial groups comprise only about 25% of the aged care marketplace. There is one large market listed company, a few larger private companies and multiple small commercial operators. The banks own large numbers of nursing homes. With government driving the sector in this direction marketplace thinking has come to dominate the ethos and manner of operation of the entire sector. This web page summarises this situation, looks at patterns of dysfunction, and links to pages describing a selection of these companies.

Nursing home residents and their relatives: This page examines the plight of nursing home residents and their families in Australia. It provides examples of their difficulties. It does not offer specific help to those with problems. More in-depth information and links to resources can be sourced from the Aged Care Crisis home page.

The Accreditation and Complaint Processes - Australian Nursing Homes: The industry friendly accreditation and complaint handling agencies set up by the government in 1997 have failed. This is illustrated by the ongoing problems in care, the recurrent scandals and the increasing seriousness of the problems encountered. This page examines these processes, the reasons why they failed and why the measures to make them effective have not worked and are unlikely to work in the future.

Nurses in the aged care system: This web page examines the importance of staffing levels, staffing skills and staff morale, and their interdependency. It explores the impact of funding restrictions, profit priorities and market myths on altruism and staff motivation with an ultimate impact on the care given. It looks at the role of the nursing unions and at the importance of whistle blowing by nurses.

From Humanitarian Service to Corporate Profitability - The story of the corporatisation of health and aged care in Australia: This page explores the changes to welfare funding and institutions as the welfare sector changed from a cooperative humanitarian service to a competitive corporate marketplace. It examines the impact of this change on the professions and the community oganisations that already provided services in this sector. It also provides some personal opinions and perspectives and points of view.

The Ageing Bonanza: Business View in Australia: This page examines the way in which the business community has targeted the aging population as a source of profit. The enthusiasm for the upcoming retirement of the baby boomers is described. The breadth of services targeted is documented. Payment systems, values, regulatory failure and probity are discussed.

Private Equity: Banks, Trusts and Financiers invest in Australian Aged Care: Behind the market enthusiasm lie the bankers and financiers who accumulate the funds and invest or lend money to business projects. This enthusiasm is reflected in the surging purchases of aged care operations by the Private Equity arms of these financial institutions. This page examines how they have set up investment vehicles for aged care. These protect their investments from risk by forming property trusts and then leasing the facilities to closely associated capital light operators. National and international investments are described. Also cashing in on the expanding sector are the construction companies.

Retirement Villages in Australia: This page traces the history of retirement villages as the focus shifts away from serving the needy to meeting the luxuries demanded by the wealthy. Services provided by the community are being replaced by commercial packages from the marketplace. Links are provided to pages describing some of the companies involved.

Home care in Australia: This web page examines developments in home care globally, in the USA and in Australia. It documents the arrival of the largest global home care corporation in the world, the US based Home Instead Senior Care in Australia, and attempts to convince relevant authorities to confront this.

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