Over the past few weeks, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has held hearings in Broome, Darwin and Cairns focused on aged care for people in remote, rural and regional locations. The challenges highlighted at these hearings included high costs, difficulties attracting and retaining staff and the lack of supporting services to maintain buildings and facilities, and the lack of access to services provided by nurses, doctors and dentists to help people stay at home.
Hearings in Cairns investigated nutrition, food quality, cultural safety and clinical care and heard evidence of inadequate and even unsafe food standards and inadequate budgeting for food. Hearings included commentary by Maggie Beer. In response to this issue, Cherie Hugo from Bond University wrote this piece – for the conversation on the issue of food in aged care. Dr Hugo is founder of The Lantern Project, a national aged care collaboration devoted to improving resident’s quality of life through the joy of good food.
More than 180 members of the public attended the latest community forum in Townsville, which heard stories about neglectful care, care planning issues and administration of medications without consent, as well as challenges for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culturally and linguistically diverse groups. 22% of the submission made to the Royal Commission to date have been from Queensland.
The Royal Commission has released a number of background papers, including an overview of Australia’s current aged care system, and papers on the changing demographics and dynamics of aged care, dementia in Australia, restrictive practices, and advance care planning. You can link to all the reports from here.
Did you know the Commission has an in-house information line that members of the public can call? Staff assist the community with making a submission and answer email and letter enquiries. There is also a counselling and support team. Anyone can make a submission over the phone or get advice on how to make a submission, access specific information on upcoming community forums or hearings and be referred to other pathways to receive advice and assistance. It’s open from 8am to 6.30pm ACST. You can call the information line on 1800 960 711. Have you got any questions about the Royal Commission? Read FAQs on the website: agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au