Wed 16, Dec 2020

Aged care

2020 has been especially heartbreaking for aged care residents, their family and friends, and staff. Australia saw aged care homes record thousands of COVID-19 cases and the majority of deaths around the nation.  

The timing of the COVID crisis came after findings from the Royal Commission on Aged Care Quality and Safety’s Interim Report in October 2019. The Commission described the aged care system as a “shocking tale of neglect,” saying it failed to meet the needs of its older, vulnerable, citizens.  

Push for quality continence care as we wait for the final findings of the Commission in February 2021.  

How continence care should be  

Safe and effective continence care puts the dignity, wellbeing and choices of the person receiving care first. The Continence Foundation of Australia has information for aged care workers and management. You can encourage your aged care provider to check in with the Foundation for more help.  

Encourage open conversation  

recent study for the Royal Commission on Aged Care Quality and Safety showed almost 50 per cent of residents’ top concerns were never shared with anyone. Some of the reasons that residents didn’t share their concerns were feeling they were ‘too minor’ or that ‘nothing will change’ even if reported. Speaking up can improve quality of care for you, your loved ones and other people in the future.  

Do you know where to complain?  

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (different to the Royal Commission) is responsible for checking providers and working through complaints. They encourage you to try and raise the issue with the staff and aged care provider first, if you can. Then, there are many ways you can make a complaint:  

  • Online:  

  • Phone: 1800 951 822 (free call)  

  • Letter: GPO Box 9819, in your capital city 

This story was first published in Bridge Magazine. Subscribe and receive Bridge straight to your inbox.