Response 356605517

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Introduction

2. Are you answering on behalf of an organisation? If so, please provide your organisation's name.

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No

3. Do you give consent for your submission to be published in whole or in part?

Please select one item
(Required)
Ticked Yes
No

More detail about you

4. What role best describes you? Please select all that apply.

Please select all that apply
Ticked Aged care consumer, including family and/or carer
Aged care service provider
Aged care worker/professional
Aged care advocate
Peak body - consumer
Peak body - provider
Peak body - professional
Ticked Other - please specify below
Text box to add other roles
I was a registered nurse with post graduate qualifications in aged care and worked as a care supervisor in aged care until I retired 14 years ago

6. Where do you live, or, where does your organisation operate? Please select all that apply.

Please select all that apply
NSW
VIC
Ticked QLD
WA
SA
TAS
ACT
NT

7. What is your location, or, the location where your organisation operates. Please select all that apply.

Please select all that apply
Metropolitan
Ticked Regional
Rural/Remote

General questions about the draft standards

10. Do the consumer outcomes in the draft standards reflect the matters that are most important to consumers?

Please select one item
Yes, always
Ticked Yes, mostly
Yes, sometimes
No
Don't know

11. Are the organisation statements and requirements in the draft standards achievable for providers?

Please select one item
Yes, always
Ticked Yes, mostly
Yes, sometimes
No
Don't know

12. Are the draft standards measurable?

Please select one item
Yes, always
Ticked Yes, mostly
Yes, sometimes
No
Don't know

13. Are there any gaps in the draft standards? If so, what are they?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No

14. Is the wording and the intent of the draft standards clear?

Please select one item
Yes, always
Ticked Yes, mostly
Yes, sometimes
No
Don't know

Specific suggestions about each draft standard

16. Do you have any specific suggestions in relation to draft Standard 1: Consumer dignity, autonomy and choice? If so, what are they?

Text box Standard 1 Consumer dignity, autonomy and choice
You speak about the dignity of risk, autonomy and importance of maintaining independence as much as possible. I have noticed a decline in these important areas which affect the consumer's quality of life and feelings of self -worth. I was involved in working towards accreditation when it was first introduced and noticed a definite, subtle decline in these areas since then. It became much more obvious when I had the experience of dealing with my mother in an aged care facility for almost three years until she died a year ago. The accreditation standards themselves and the need to comply with the health and safety regulations almost contradict these standards. For example, my mother had no option to do the simple things for herself she had always done, although she was still mobile and had no evidence of dementia. I realise it is difficult to balance risk with safety but,in some cases this is taken too far. From when she entered the facility my mother had no opportunity to make herself a cup of tea or participate in doing that with family who visited. Instead she was served morning tea etc. in her room, in a plastic cup and not very hot ( safety). The staff always offered visitors a cup of tea as well but it took away mum's ability to help and entertain as she had always done. I noticed there were beautifully appointed sitting rooms in the facility but these were rarely used by residents or guests because there was no small kitchenette where a family or a few residents could get together, make a cuppa and chat. My mother had always looked after her own medications but from admission that was taken over by staff. She couldn't even have Panadol in her room. Similarly with showering and other personal care needs. The funding tool also encourages the facility to do more for the residents that may be absolutely necessary. Medication management, showering etc. attracts much needed funding for the facility. Although in so many ways this facility was a very well run and professionally managed establishment with high standards it was a facility, not a home. The standards used to talk about "a home - like environment" but after accreditation was introduced the term aged care facility seemed to me to be appropriate for the new reality. The problem is that residents can quickly lose autonomy and feelings of self worth and soon become a compliant, much reduced individual who loses hope and sometimes the will to live. I can see the many advantages of accreditation and assessment tools but I think it is time a more realistic approach, or at least a more creative one was considered, especially in view of this standard. The wording and the intention may be all very well, but the reality falls far short.

19. Do you have any specific suggestions in relation to draft Standard 4: Delivering lifestyle services and supports? If so, what are they?

Text box suggestions in relation to draft Standard 4: Delivering lifestyle services and supports
It says in this standard that residents are given support to help do the things they used to do. Again, the difference is that residents are treated as consumers not active members of the facility where they live, which is now their home. They aren't awarded the dignity of actually organising any of these activities or actively contributing to them. Once again, in my observation, they are largely passive recipients of the activities organised and planned for them. I was told of an aged care facility in the country where residents were actually supported to decide how they would raise money for a good cause. The ladies organised the more mobile residents to go shopping for ingredients then baked cakes and goodies , including bottled jams and pickles which they made at the facility. Obviously all safety standards were maintained and the residents felt so much pride and accomplishment with their efforts. A "normalising" and uplifting experience for them , thanks to the creative thinking of the staff involved. More attention, education and thought needs to be applied in this area.

Other Comments

24. Do you have any other comments or suggestions about the draft standards?

Text box - any other comments or suggestions
There are many other areas I could comment on such as the delivery of palliative care in the facilities and the staffing levels which are often obviously inadequate to provide even minimal care, let alone all the exacting requirements set down in the standards. With the current funding or the distribution of funding I feel that this is a pointless exercise. Overall the standard of care and the built environment in aged care has improved dramatically over the years since I first became involved in this area. I hope even more innovative solutions will be introduced in the future. There is a need to think outside the square and consider the ways some other countries and communities have found ways to personalise and not instutionalise their services.