On Monday the Royal Commissioners, Honourable Tony Pagone QC and Ms Lynelle Briggs AO, released the latest research reports they have commissioned.
The fascinating conclusion to their media release was the following:
The Australian community’s lack of awareness about the aged care system helps explain why Governments have neglected to fix major, obvious problems. In its interim report the Royal Commission showed there had been 20 major Government inquiries over the past two decades and many of the recommendations had been ignored.
A blunt message. What will their report say when it is submitted in February to the Government?
Their media release also added the following, based on a survey they commissioned of 10,000 Australians plus 30 focus groups:
Around 84% of adults have visited a residential aged care facility. Overall, the community has a very negative opinion about life in these facilities. They think the residents are often lonely, do not have control over their lives and are not happy, but have access to medical care and are safe in comfortable, well maintained accommodation. The community is divided about whether residents receive the help they need with daily activities, whether they are respected, and whether there are enough activities for residents.
Few people know much about other aspects of the aged care system. Only 9% of people know about My Aged Care, the Government’s aged care information service. Only 4% know about the aged care regulator, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. Most people have little idea of how much money the Government spends on aged care each year.
Given the Government spends $20 billion a year on aged care, this vision is not encouraging.
You can read the full media release here.