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!