A lot of older people want to live at home for as long as they can. When this becomes impossible, they relocate to residential aged care facilities, which turn to their home.
However, care facilities in Melbourne for the elders are increasing in number and size, turning them into less-home.
The government of Australia had on 26 June 2013 passed the Act of Aged Care (Living Longer Living Better). The purpose was to give more support and care at home, to enable more consumer choice as well as better control, and to give more recognition of diversity as well as support to carers.
The government has under the coverage of this Act, in previous years, come up with many quality care-oriented reforms targeting the promotion of consumer choice and competition in the sector.
Last year, about 20 Victorian aged care providers were found to be non-compliant with the Aged Care Act standards since July. The adult care quality and safety commission served the facilities with notices to agree, which results in actions to improve their standards.
The commission also warned the facilities that they risk their chance of getting government approval to provide subsidized aged care if they fail to meet the standards by a fixed time.
The question now is what could Melbourne’s aged care facilities improve? This is what we want to discuss in this post.
Firstly, let us consider the existing quality of adult care in Melbourne before we discuss the things to improve.
Quality of Adult Care in Melbourne
Those residing in aged care homes generally have much quality of life and are usually happier than people who decide to live alone. While detailed data are not here, surveys of adult care consumers shows that they are getting better quality care: Here are some of the advantages of living in an adult care community:
- A Nice Social Environment
Living in an aged care facility provides you a better opportunity to meet people of the same mind and also make new friends. Some older people can get physically and emotionally isolated from friends and family when residing alone and this is a major problem solved when they live in an adult care home surrounded by neighbors.
You are at the liberty of selecting a company anytime you feel like, together with the freedom to stay alone whenever you need it. With regular events as well as activities arranged to promote social interaction, you will soon feel at home in the community. This nice social environment also helps with cutting down depression among seniors.
- Reduction in Daily Chores as well as Home Maintenance
No more gardening, cooking, household maintenance or cleaning to take your focus from things that matter in life. Aged care homes are taken care of by dedicated workers, so you don’t have to do anything other than relaxing and enjoy being taken care of.
Specialized kitchen employees can take care of any special dietary needs, which you don’t have to break a sweat to prepare. You also can get assistance with daily activities like bathing, feeding, dressing, taking medication, and exercising if needed, making your life so much easier.
- Lots of Activities, Excursions, and Entertainment
Many residential adult care homes provide residents with a lot of choices of both onsite and offsite activities to be a part of. Even though these extracurricular activities are not mandatory, the majority of residents take the opportunity to experience such different entertainment options and activities. The time is still young to try new things, and it is even easier when you join in these activities without even getting out of the facility.
- 24 Hour Medical and Health Care
If you need on-site medical care and comprehensive care, there is no better place than offers than your home in an aged care facility away from your home. Workers at the facility can assist you to get medical prescriptions, manage medical appointments, schedule specialist visits on-site, if needed, and also recommend treatment providers, eliminating the entire stress out of taking care of your health.
You will have convenient access to medication, health services, and equipment, as well as specialist care in an adult care home, and unrestricted medical care in an emergency.
- Help from Qualified Professionals
You will get care from a well-trained professional who specializes needs of elders. It is not always possible to depend on friends, family, or neighbors for assistance, and even if they make time for you, they usually don’t have what it takes to help you the right way.
Adult care workers can monitor your health and provide professional care whenever needed and efficiently, without you travel.
- Peace of Mind
When you are in an adult care home, you can relax. Understanding that help is always closer to you anytime you need it is a peace of mind. This provides great peace of mind to people that need a high level of care. And the stresses of taking care and managing a home and garden become history, allowing you to enjoy your retirement – since you already earned it.
Now, let’s discuss what could be improved in the service delivery of aged care facilities in Melbourne.
What Adult Care Homes in Melbourne could improve?
Since the Australian Government is the main funder and regulator of the adult care system, it has lots of avenues to impact the quality of aged care. With the Royal Commission handing down an interim report in 2019 as well as a final report in 2020, there may be a need to call the 46th Parliament to look into action on quality regulation, adult care funding, and workforce issues to make sure that older citizens get unvarying top-quality services.
Let’s discuss some of the possible improvement.
- Quality Regulation
Aged care quality appears well in the 45th parliament. The Senate Community Affairs References Committee and the Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care, and Sport both inquired into the parts of aged care quality.
The latter made comprehensive ranging recommendations as regards aged care funding, quality regulation, staffing, and information given to consumers, some of which have been brought to life already.
They formerly made recommendations as regards the regulation of clinical care in adult care homes, staffing, as well as the duty of care. There have been flagging to further changes.
The Federal Government, in the 2019 – 20 budgets, made an announcement; a lot of measures to better service quality and safety. Some measures, like implementing a real-time information sharing system in the system within the commission, can be achieved administratively.
Others, like limiting the use of physical and chemical medication have been enacted already via delegated legislation. Yet, others like asking providers to report series of severe incidents (like assaults), would need an amendment of the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act).
- Aged Care Funding
Aged care beds are not made to give the same level of care as hospital beds, nor are they financed to a similar level. Residential adult care providers spent $254.29 on each resident every day from 2016 to 2017. This doesn’t include services like GP visits and medicines, which are only funded via other aspects of the health system.
On the other hand, a sub-acute bed in a hospital is priced at an average of $1,070 daily from 2015 to 2016, even though this includes a comprehensive range of healthcare costs (like medicines and doctor’s salaries).
Even with the existing model, adult care funding is projected to increase by 11.2% in real terms from 2019-2020 to 2022-2023. This indicates an aging population, including other factors like an increase in the population of home care packages being offered.
If the Government wishes to better the quality of adult care, it may need to look into increasing funding (more than those required by an increase in the senior population).
- Aged Care Facilities Workforce
The aged care industry is labor-intensive. The average resident of home care gets about 5 hours of direct care every week, while the average adult care resident gets more than 3 hours of direct care every day. Wages and salaries of 57% of providers cost in adult care and 68% in residential care. The availability of workers to provide care, their qualifications, skills, and the level to which vocational training works with the existing and future skill requirements like providing dementia-related care may impact the quality of care.
These can then be influenced by the funding (as mentioned above) and regulation. Aged care companies are required to keep a moderate amount of properly skilled workers to make sure that the needs of consumers are met.
- More Transparency as Regards the Quality Oo Care
To improve the transparency of the quality of care, reviews by consumers and their families will be posted on the internet. This can be helpful for others when they are selecting a nursing home. From 2017, the information will be shared on the internet about the performance of every care homes, depending on indicators, such as medication safety, communication with the resident as well as family members, workers’ qualification, including quality-driven management.
- Technology and Aged Care
Technology continue to create its oath into the adult care sector, and not just in ways you would first think, such as computerized record keeping. A lot of adult care homes are using technology to provide the best level of care, too.
Technology has simplified the paperwork aspect of adult care. And the future even holds better things too. With automation entering the labor force, many are concerned about losing their jobs.
When technology is improved in aged care facilities, it will help to welcome new technology that will assist you in giving the greatest care to your residents. If only all the residents in your home could make use of real-time monitoring tools that enable you to keep watch on their health and wellness, all the time, care giving can be more accessible. That is what many aged care homes have done.
With the use of real-time monitoring, a lot of aged care homes can give quick responses to medical emergencies and accidents.
Helpful technology can assist elders to keep a sense of independence which empowers and enriches them and assist in improving their mental wellness. Voice assistants are tools that enable residents to enjoy their news digitally, instead of through the newspaper. For a vision-impaired resident, this is one small opportunity to help them feel a sense of independence.
- Improving Cleaning Standard in Adult Care Facilities
While lots of building managers can schedule most of the cleaning tasks to off-hours, an adult care institution, such as a medical home, needs frequent and continuous cleaning.
This can be hard, as cleaners try to go around elderly residents and workers, and deal with complaints about the use of harshly scented chemicals.
Routine cleaning needs careful planning, management required for access to electrical and layouts of cords, and patience observed as work may be disturbed by an incident at any time.
Adequate cleaning of an adult care home can be done by finding solutions to popular challenges, then implementing them as well as giving training for entire cleaning workers.
Choose cleaning options that won’t irritate those in the facility, like mopheads and microfiber cloths, and equipment that can be easily navigated in crowded spaces. Popular cleaning appliances like vacuums or dusters are not right in some places, and cleaning cloths and solutions require proper use to avoid cross-contamination. Try the options below:
- Dusters can delay and disperse microorganisms, and should not be used, unless a water-dampened cloth or a mild cleaning agent is perfect
- Vacuum cleaners work similarly and should be fitted using approved HEPA filters (which require regular checking and replacement).
- Used clothes should not be double-dipped into the clean solution to prevent spreading contamination, and should rather be cleaned, wrung, rotated, and folded to show a clean surface before dipping.
Knowing your stand with what you are doing is the most important way to figure out room for improvement and cause positive change. And after everything, this all leads to safer and happier elderly people. Although it is difficultly unique to adult care providers compiling a list of difficulties without mentioning some acknowledgment of the slim budgets involved.
Usually, aged care companies are provided a thin line to dance to satisfy their cleaning requirements and ledger.
Leaving either side could leave the future viability of your aged care home in jeopardy, so it is a decision that requires being taken seriously.
Reach out to us to know how Trusted Aged Care Cleaning can help you deliver a reliable, affordable standard of cleaning which will protect your accreditation, keep and improve your residents’ lifestyle, and make sure your aged care facility looks its best for each visit. Call us on 1800 966 051