Australia's elderly die in care with no laws to protect them
Over the last 13 years, chronic understaffing has seen a 400% increase in preventable deaths of elderly Australians in aged care with hundreds dying from falls, choking and suicide.
They are our parents and grandparents, people who looked after us and loved us, but now many of them, especially those in need of high care, are left unfed, unwashed and even in soiled nappies for hours.
Hard-pressed nurses and care staff do the best they can in impossible circumstances, but they are run off their feet and can’t provide the care they want to.
And while our nurses and care staff struggle because there is simply not enough of them, last year*, owners of Aged Care facilities racked up over $1 billion in profits while cutting staff.
Australia has strict staff ratios for childcare, which is as it should be. But there are no ratios for aged care and no laws to ensure our elderly get the care they need.
It’s a crisis that shames us. Our Aged Care system has been ignored by governments for far too long.
*that all indications from major for-profit and non-profit company reports continue to show further increases in profitability in the 2016-17 financial year.
There's an urgent need for staff ratios in aged care
Currently residents are receiving around 2 hours 50 minutes of care per day from nurses and carers, which is nowhere near enough time to shower, toilet, medicate, dress, feed, roll over, move, let alone talk to an aged care resident.
The evidence shows residents should be receiving a minimum of 4 hours 18 minutes of care per day - one and a half hours more than they are getting now.
Now is the time for action
The upcoming May budget and Federal Election is our chance to get the government to take action and Make Ratios Law. If you haven't already joined the campaign, join the thousands of supporters across Australia by:
- Liking us on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MoreStaffForAgedCare
- Going to www.MoreStaffForAgedCare.com.au and signing up to join the campaign
- Putting May 12 into your diary and taking action in your State or Territory
Ratios for Aged Care. Make Them Law. Now.
- Ratios For Aged Care. Make Them Law. Now.
- Crisis in aged care continues: Minister must act
- Better staffing will fix the crisis in aged care
Authorised by A.Butler, Federal Secretary, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, Level 1 / 365 Queen St, Melbourne, VIC 3000.