Saturday, April 13, 2024

Aged care survey reveals loss of faith in system

New research has revealed that more Australians are taking their elderly relatives out of aged-care facilities as the COVID-19 pandemic exposes serious faults in the sector.

Research conducted by research company, Fifth Dimension has shown that 53% the 1,000 respondents surveyed had lost faith in Australia’s aged care sector, with 54% saying they were seeking to remove relatives from nursing homes.

The national survey was conducted from Friday 31 July to Monday 3 August this year, and was weighted to ABS statistics. 

It also revealed that one in four people (23%) who had a friend or relative in aged care said that person’s mental health had declined since the pandemic began – this figure increased to one in three (34%) for those in aged care in Victoria.

Of those surveyed, 36% said the greatest issue with aged care that put elderly residents health at risk was the ‘casualisation’ of the workforce, which forced many people to work across multiple aged care centres to earn a decent income.

The second biggest issue putting resident’s health at risk was the low carer to resident ratios (25%), respondents said.

Nearly half (49%) of those surveyed felt government were not doing enough to ensure aged care providers were protecting residents from COVID-19.

While 54% of people with a loved one in aged care said they were considering taking that person out of care – with two in three people saying this would be a temporary move, while the remaining one in three said they were considering making it a permanent move.

Sixty percent of people who were planning to move someone into aged care in the next fives years said they would now delay that move or try to avoid aged care altogether.

“We are still in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, and no doubt we will see many more residents of aged care facilities diagnosed with and die from COVID-19,” the research group said in a statement.

“We need to re-think the aged care model and be more creative and innovative with ways in which we can support families to care for the elderly – and not wait until the pandemic has completely eroded what faith we have left in the system.”

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