Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Jul-Aug 2011 Contents Speaking personally
CEO, Christadelphian Aged Care
Each issue, Australian Ageing Agenda asks a senior industry
figure to speak personally about their thoughts, experiences
and hopes in aged care.
need to be
the processes at
the moment are
and sometimes it
is difficult to see
how they really
add to the welfare
WHY DO YOU WORK IN
In any role I have ever worked in, I have
always looked for both satisfaction in what I
am doing and also for a challenge. Working
in aged care provides me with both. I work
in a dynamic organisation which focuses
on providing the best possible care for
the aged in our community, in an industry
that will soon change the environment it
has operated within for the last 20 years.
This change will require organisations to
re-engineer themselves to meet new and
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST
MOMENT OR FAVOURITE
MEMORY IN AGED CARE?
The really great moments are when a
resident or their family takes the opportunity
to comment positively on the quality of care
that is being provided, or give feedback
about a staff member or volunteer who
has quietly gone that extra mile. These
are instances when you know that, as an
organisation, you are achieving the service
level you seek for your residents and their
lives are all the better for it.
WHAT ARE YOU REALLY
PLEASED ABOUT RIGHT
The Productivity Commission (PC), in
its recently released draft paper, has
recognised that substantial change is
required to make both the industry and
the provision of care (both residential and
community care) sustainable.
WHAT IS ANNOYING YOU OR
MAKING YOU ANGRY?
The amount of red tape and regulatory
processes. Clearly, aged care operators need
to be accountable and monitored but the
processes at the moment are often inefficient,
and sometimes it is difficult to see how they
really add to the welfare of residents. The
industrial relations and workers compensation
processes are also inefficient, and weighted
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE
FACING THE INDUSTRY?
There are a great many challenges to the
industry at the moment, including attracting
[quality] staff to work in the aged care sector
(especially RNs). The industry's funding model
is also unsustainable, even though there is a
need to refurbish older facilities and fund new
facilities, in order to meet the changing needs
and requirements of the approaching baby
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST
The industry has worked positively with
the PC to ensure that the draft report's
recommended framework has the potential to
create a sustainable operating environment
for the industry. The industry needs to lobby
government to ensure that government
does not avoid making the necessary and
comprehensive regulatory changes.
WHO DO YOU REALLY
ADMIRE FOR THEIR
EFFORTS IN AGED CARE?
It might sound like a cliché but the people I
really admire are staff who go that 'extra mile'
because they really care about the people
they are looking after -- doing little things that
might rarely be even noticed by anyone other
than the resident but which really make a
difference to their day.
WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE
The industry needs a sustainable funding
model. The PC draft report has generally been
supported by the industry. The challenge for
government now is to fully implement the
changes recommended, rather than implement
parts and hold back on the politically difficult
decisions. The industry can only refurbish
existing older facilities, and build new facilities
to meet the approaching rise in demand, if
the sector is financially sustainable.
WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE
FOR THE INDUSTRY?
Embrace innovation and change. The PC has
signalled that the sector will be deregulated
to allow for a more innovative approach
to both residential and home-based care.
Baby boomers are going to require different
standards and types of services. Those
operators who will succeed in a deregulated
environment will be the ones who recognise
this and change their business models and
service approach to match.
IF YOU COULD DO ONE
THING TO CHANGE AGED
CARE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
A resident or their family requiring aged
care services often finds it difficult to
navigate through the maze of entitlements,
regulations and care options in a system
that is not always well integrated. It would
be great to have an integrated and simple
process. Hopefully the "Gateway" proposed
by the PC will achieve this. n
96 | JULY -- AUGUST 2011 | AAA
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