News & Events

From the CEO – Listen to what residents are saying

October 11, 2017

Aged care has had a bad run in the media recently, and as always coverage has pinpointed examples where care and support provided has fallen short of expectations.

 

Here at OCAV, we have reflected on the coverage as it serves to remind us we must deliver what our residents want and expect from us, and what we ourselves would want and expect.

 

Caring for elderly and vulnerable Victorians is important to us. We offer a continuum of care which allows a person to come in to one of our villages as an ‘independent’ resident, move into assisted living when or if appropriate, and finally go into our aged care home where they are cared for as a family member. This approach has served us and older Victorians in need well over almost 150 years, and we continue to transform and drive new and better practice.

 

OCAV looks after around 80 residents at Liscombe House, our aged care facility. A small number compared to the fact that over 1.3 million receive aged care every year in Australia. And therein lies the reality: we don’t treat our residents as facts, numbers or statistics. They are people.

 

We have an open-door policy with all our residents: they have their own committees, they are able to have their say freely, and while we may not act on every idea, we do listen. In short, we have a relationship which we take very seriously.

 

This is why OCAV supports the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner’s role. The role enables consumers to speak up and seek support when they are unable to find a solution with their aged care provider.

 

The Commission says the number of complaints it receives is rising. While that may appear to suggest service is falling, it may also mean that consumers are not frightened to come forward. Either way, if the Commission drives improvement and increases consumer confidence, this benefits us all.

 

Elsewhere in the news, you may have read about the David Tune review of the 2012 Living Longer Living Better aged care reforms. The review is comprehensive, and includes 38 recommendations for future reform and aged care provision.

 

OCAV, and others, have been disappointed with the immediate reaction of the Coalition Government which ruled out including the full value of an older person’s home in the means test for residential care and abolishing annual and lifetime caps on user contributions from among the recommendations of the five-year review into aged care reforms.

 

Given that the government is forming a taskforce to consider the findings, we believe that it would have been more sensible to keep all options open for effective discussion rather than cherry pick or throw out ideas.

With these two options off the table, we urge the government to tell all of us how aged care will be funded into the future because either government or the individual will have to pay more or services will decline.

As we know from media reports, Australians are very aware of what they want and expect from the aged care system. It is a growing and changing sector. It is about providers such as OCAV making sure that we offer the best possible care delivered by the best nursing and care staff and working alongside our residents and their families.

 

To do this, we also expect from government a promise to provide adequate and stable funding that helps secure a safer future for everyone.

 

The apartments are beautiful, with lovely, open and bright rooms, and a balcony for growing plants in pots. I am starting to make my apartment into a home.

– Catherine, Leith Park

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