The Column

Contributor profile: Aged Care Columnist

Our Columnist has been an advocate for better aged care for over a decade. They have worked in aged-care homes and supported seven family members and friends through the Australian system of aged care and found many aspects of it wanting. They have co-authored several submissions to Senate Inquiries on matters relating to aged care and written widely on social policy issues concerning ageing and accommodation for marginalized people.

Ageing in place or rorting the system?

Imagine Alice - single woman, no children, getting older, some health issues. Alice decides to take steps to provide for her own care. She has been an independently-minded person all her life and does not wish to be a burden to her extended family.

With some help and following an ACAT assessment, she chooses a low-care home. The facility she finally decides on has great promotional material showing many happy faces. The building is pleasant and one of the features promised by the home is ageing-in-place.

This seems like a good idea. Alice doesn’t want another difficult move at her stage of life...

Old and malnourished

The festive season is here. It is party time and the food is celebratory and abundant. As a counterpoint, we could consider the levels of nutrition experienced by frail aged people right across the community.

Meals are markers of the day for all of us – but they are especially so for those who have limited mobility or who are confined to the lonely room of an aged-care facility and for those who might be isolated within their suburban home. It is sad then, when the food disappoints and/or has little nutritional value.

Paying more but getting the same

The aged-care reforms, Living Longer Living Better, (LLLB) introduced by the former Labor Government, and supported by the present Government, came into effect this month.

The changes are mostly structural ones designed to address issues related to funding both residential and community care for an ageing demographic. They are the result of an extensive Report brought down by the Productivity Commission in August 2011.

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