Shaky Foundation: Where is residential care today? 

I have been tracking various residential aged care data and some interesting comparison figures for two decades now since the Aged Care Act came into being in 1997.Please allow me to say right upfront – collecting relevant and appropriate data from indices can be difficult and not always truly comparable.

The data represented below is purely to make us think, and perhaps identify for providers at least, why it seems to have become so much more difficult to maintain a high quality residential aged care service today to people with more pressing multiple morbidities than ever before.

Clearly, by comparison, our funding foundation has worsened over the past twenty or so years.

Residential Aged Care Comparators:

Some description of the various indices follows:

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Report and Recommendations – Joint Select Committee on End of Life Choices

I have been working back in the aged care sector since August 2016, and as many of you know I have been the Chief Executive Officer of Braemar since March 2017.  A few weeks back I did seek comment from colleagues and visitors to my blog about these “end of life choice” matters.  Thank you to those who have pondered, commented, and otherwise contributed on these things.

Pain, suffering, and distress are existential.  The desire to end one’s own life is based on existential circumstances with perhaps the view that there is little hope for any future improvement in life’s outlook.  The majority Christian view still is that Christ offers hope for an end to all suffering, but that happens at the natural end of this life – not a life brought to early closure.  The endurance of pain and suffering can seem intolerable, and the grasp of hope seemingly so far away.  We must develop ways in which we can assist to bridge the perceived gap between the existential pain and future hope by how we manage our pain, symptoms, and suffering and sense of loss; yet contemporaneously offer support to others afflicted by such suffering, grief and loss.

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Your Thoughts Wanted

Hi folks,

Two quite important matters are being discussed by parliamentary committees here in Western Australia over the next twelve months or so, and I seek your advice, attitudes, and thoughts on these matters.

The first matter, and also being discussed by the New South Wales and Victorian Parliaments respectively, is around “end of life choices”.

I seek your advice, attitudes, and thoughts about this important matter.

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Unfair Expectations?

I recently chaired an afternoon session for a “Law in Aged Care” seminar in Perth.  It was a very useful day’s focus on the myriad of interaction that aged care providers have with the law daily.  There can be matters associated with town planning, local government, occupational health and safety, fair work, accreditation and liability issues, and that might be just before morning tea …

In October 2017, the residential aged care sector reaches twenty years since the enactment of the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth).  As I recall, for Western Australians it started on Monday 1 October being a public holiday Monday.  The then new Act was a mighty and useful change from the Aged and Disabled Persons Homes Act and the Health Act.  Whilst it has not all been plain sailing the Act pertaining specifically to aged care has, in my view, served Australia well.

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Nothing Changes?

This piece was published as ‘The Bones are Bare’ on Australian Ageing Agenda

I have been back working in the aged care sector for almost twelve months now – first on an interim basis with Baptistcare here in Perth, and for the past four months or so as Chief Executive with Braemar Presbyterian Care in WA.

One of the most common questions on my return to the sector is about the amount of change there has been in “aged care” since I left the sector back at the end of 2010.

One could say that the change has been enormous, with refundable accommodation deposits now part of residential aged care, and significant changes having been made to funding around client centred care in the community aged care sector.

On the other hand, one could quite calmly suggest that no great change has happened. After all, since I first entered the aged care sector back in 1982, we have had at least some fifteen (perhaps closer to twenty) Australian Government Ministers with responsibility for aged care services over the past thirty years. In that same period, we have had at least three major changes to the funding regimes that providers live with daily.

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