Preliminary Hearing into the Royal Commission into Aged Care

What a day. It started with a webinar I was involved in, needing me to get up at 4am. After that, and two online peer-to-peer support groups, I was interviewed again by Spence Denny (2nd time this week), to comment on the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. I spoke about Human Rights being applicable to people with dementia, or indeed, anyone living in aged care, and how, with better care, most (not all) people would not need restraint of any kind. I’m taking the comment from one listener who called in (a pharmacist), who implied people like me are idealistic, and have no idea what is it like in the ‘real’ wold of caring for people with dementia as a compliment. However, I do not see our rights as idealistic! Not one bit. Nor does the United Nations.

What is there to say? Well, so far sounds, and looks like a major marketing campaign, involving a lot of people in paid employment and even more public monies being spent to host it. I really hope I am proven wrong.

It also seems, it took reports from the ABC and other media outlets into just how bad it is in some nursing homes, for them to take real action. There have been enough cases reported to government about abuses in aged care, and all over the media for many years. One must wonder, why all of a sudden, is it on their radar. Oh, that;s right, there is an election coming up. Not that I would vote for any  party now in Australia; it appears most of the time that none are willing to do the right thing, or even working for, and for the good of the Australian people.

One Commissioner said they want stories and submissions from families and people working in aged care, and also that they had invited all key organisations to hear their views. He forgot to say they wanted to hear from people living in residential care themselves, or those of us with dementia, and Dementia Alliance International have not been sought for consultation once. Lots of ‘experts’, telling us what is mostly already available on the Royal Commission website.

It was made clear, the Commission will decide when, how and what is disseminated to the public, saying they based this decision to support individuals privacy. This is, from my perspective a cop put, as it would be very easy to de-identify all submissions and statements, in exactly the same way researchers do for research projects involving humans.

By the way, the current speaker Dr Timothy McEvoy just said Royal Commission is only an inquiry, and it is not adversarial. Hence, nothing may ever change. He also just said, they do want to hear from people receiving care… ‘if we can‘, and said in a way as if residents are incapable of having a voice.

If you are really bored, and have nothing better to do, tune in to the video afterwards, as it is now adjourned until February!

16 thoughts on “Preliminary Hearing into the Royal Commission into Aged Care

  1. The points you make are great Kate. It worries me that the knee jerk reaction from eh Minister is more bureaucracy. That’s not to say that rules don’t have a place, but just that they don’t address the fundamental issues. It also worries me that a version of Consumer Directed Care is to be introduced into nursing home – not to say that autonomy and decision making aren’t important, but rather to say that the approach is based on a ‘market model’ and people will FEEL like they have power but it’s only purchasing ‘power’ from a menu predetermined by the nursing home, not the power to be living their real lives. nyhoo, enuff from me. Thank you again Kate for your public voice 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Kate , in QLD in the mid 2005 approx physical restraints were not allowed in nursing homes. Putting a bed against a wall with the rail up was considered a restraint so they bought in low low beds and crash mats to prevent any injury. Prior to the ban, a restraint form with the doctors signature and the family’s signature had to be included. I always felt restraining a person was wrong and told them that diversional therapy activities would benefit the residents. Are the state laws different in regards to restraints? I thought it was nationalised.
    I left the aged care sector several years ago because i felt management were more concerned about the money instead of quality resident care. Cheers Cath.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Like you Kate I listened in to live preliminary and like you hope it is not just a talk fest with no positive outcomes and changes. Very disappointing DAI was not contacted for input hopefully it is not too late for DAI to have a voice to inform them of what the ‘lived dementia experience’ is like. Because I’m sure some of the suited individuals there would have no flipping idea 😡X ness

    Liked by 1 person

    • DAI will make a submission, and I’ll also make a private one. But not to have engaged with us before this hearing is inexcusable, considering all the free consulting I’ve provided the government the last many years!

      Liked by 1 person

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