There were only 371 complaints to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) in March this year around residential care – peaking at 760 in April – according to the Commissioner, Janet Anderson PSM.
Ms Anderson said this “very significant increase” – with the vast majority related to visitor restrictions – was unsurprising considering family members were used to having access to their loved ones.
The numbers seem low to us though – that is only around 0.38% of the 200,000 or so people living in residential care.
The Department of Health’s Deputy Secretary for Ageing and Aged Care, Michael Lye, also said the number of complaints has “settled” since the Industry Code for aged care visits during the pandemic – due for review this week – was introduced, though they are still hearing from people concerned about not having access to loved ones in residential care.
In total, just 31 aged care services – 1.1% of Australia’s 2,717 services – have experienced a COVID-19 outbreak, with only six homes having active cases.
The Department also noted that the median aged of the 102 Australians who have so far died of the virus is 80 – a reminder that the elderly truly are the most vulnerable.