54% of Australians now considering pulling family members out of aged care

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More than half of Australians with a loved one in aged care homes would now consider taking that person out of care due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, according to a survey by Fifth Dimension Consulting.

The survey, taken from a sample of 1,000 people, sought to understand the levels of confidence and future intentions surrounding aged care in Australia, and how these may have changed since COVID-19.

It revealed 54% of respondents with a friend or relative in aged care said they are currently considering taking that person out of care. Of those, two out of three say it would be a temporary move, while one in three would consider making it permanent.

The survey also found 60% of respondents who were planning to move someone into aged care in the next five years will either delay the move or avoid aged care altogether.

Almost 50% of respondents said they did not believe the governments are doing enough to ensure aged care providers are protecting residents from COVID-19.

Other concerns identified in the survey were around elderly residents being at risk due to the casualisation of the workforce (36%), and a low carer-to-resident ratio (25%), both exacerbated by the pandemic.

“Aged care in Australia has been a contentious issue since COVID-19 entered the country. Our survey results create a clearer picture for understanding the sentiment of the nation regarding aged care, as heartbreaking mortality numbers continue to sweep the country,” Fifth Dimension managing director, Lyndall Spooner said.

Fifth Dimension conducted the research with a nationally representative sample of Australians over the aged of 18, from 31 July to 3 August 2020.  Data was weighted by age, gender and state according to ABS statistics, ensuring that the mix of respondents was reflective of the total population.