I recently made a brief submission to the Australian Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
The quality of aged care facilities in this country is miserable and we must, and surely can, do better.
The new facilities are cosmetically rather good, and the marketing material is fabulous. But the reality for residents is different. They really are just ‘god’s waiting rooms’ with a better range of colors and designs. But, as the Royal Commission will no doubt discover, even the newer style facilities are plagued with problems. These include poor maintenance (e.g. air conditioners not working properly and lengthy delays with repairs), variable and often quit poor food quality, patients with behavior programs mixed in with general patient population due for dedicated wards being full, and high staff turnover.
Furthermore, if you don’t qualify for government financial assistance then your stay might be very costly.
I am concerned that the Royal Commission will just fiddle around the edges of a real solution, with more regulations that may or may not be consistently and uniformly monitored and enforced .
What we need though is a reinvention of the design of facilities especially with regards to the creation of mixed use facilities.
Here’s couple of references I came across. No wonderful solutions here but these, and papers like them, might be useful in at least getting the conversation started:
Terry Robison’s ‘US$59.23 per night’ Holiday Inn retirement plan goes viral (27 February 2019)
‘Why a hotel is not a viable retirement option‘ (11 March 2019)
(This blog post is a working draft – please check back again later)