I was on the road yesterday morning and caught up with Insiders on ABC News radio.
They made a big feature of the Royal Commission into Aged Care’s interim report. Amidst all the news about failure of the system, and stories of neglect, I have to say that I was feeling for the staff of our aged care services.
For all staff in aged care facilities, actually. I’m sure the way the media has been covering the release of this interim report, that our aged care workers will be feeling criticised, frustrated, sad or maybe even angry. I know how hard our people work and the selfless heart they have for the people they serve.
UnitingCare, here in Queensland, and Australia-wide, have been lobbying government for some time about the significant structural and funding inadequacies of Australia’s aged care system. It shouldn’t have taken a royal commission to deal with the issues. If you’re interested in their work, please visit Blue Care.
But back to the staff, if there’s an aged care home in your sphere of influence, or you know aged care staff, and I’m particularly thinking here of our congregations and our Blue Care/UnitingCare aged care homes. But it could be any aged care home; I’d encourage you to send some sign of solidarity; flowers, or a hamper, to the staff, a card, or even a visit just to say thank you for the work they do. Something that tells them that they’re valued, and that you’re taking the journey with them.
The Royal Commission still has a way to go, but it is asking questions of all of us really, and we as citizens and taxpayers need to take personal responsibility for how the country responds to Australia’s aged care challenge. We elect the government, we choose different visions of Australia when we make our choices at the ballot box.