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Re-imagining aged care in Australia

With one in three older Australians born in a non-English speaking country, how equipped are our nursing homes in tailoring to the specific cultural needs of residents with dementia who may have reverted back to their mother tongue?

Shocking stories heard in the Aged Care Royal Commission highlight the inadequacy of conventional aged care facilities in providing safe and quality care for our frail elderly.  It still hurts whenever Brisbane resident Gloria Gough recalls what her 96 year-old mother Suzanne Paruit-Chauvin endured after going through four nursing homes for respite care.

“With urines leaking, gone through the pad, gone through the clothes, gone through the two towels that were on the back of the wheel chair, and dripping from beneath the chair, and it wasn’t until I arrived at 8 o’clock in the evening to see her that she’d get a change."

A common complaint by the providers is the lack of government funding. With an average hourly pay between $20 to $25 dollars, aged care workers are struggling to meet the complex needs of nursing home residents. Gloria Gough’s mother Paruit-Chauvin, once a sought-after singer in Mauritius, lost her ability to walk at another respite care facility after a short stay.

Over half of aged care residents in Australian government-funded facilities live with dementia. However, 70 per cent of our aged care workers had no training around dementia.

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