News & Events

From the CEO

November 19, 2019

Like many of you, I have been dismayed by the interim report recently handed down by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. The title says it: Neglect.

For us at OCAV, the report has highlighted that we are ahead of the trend in providing training for our staff, health and wellbeing programs which are meaningful for our residents, communication with families and friends, services such as palliative care, dementia care and falls and balance, and our co-design nutrition program. That said, we cannot be complacent.

In all our programs, we put our residents first: we deliberately do not use the word consumer as it implies a transactional relationship rather than a collaborative partnership. It is for this reason that we do not agree with mandated ratios. Our argument is that person-centric aged care always puts the needs of every resident first, and puts in appropriate nursing and care for every resident.

Nevertheless, we welcome the call for fundamental reform and redesign. There has to be a significant funding commitment made now and in the future, and not just to the large operators.

What is clear is that many of the boutique aged care providers, like the Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria, are nimble, flexible and able to do much more with increased and better targeted funding. This is not about filling our coffers with taxpayers’ money. Rather it is to ensure that we can continue to maintain and grow our service so that our residents can live out their lives with the dignity and respect they deserve.

We are also exceedingly mindful of our staff. They are among the 350,000 people working in aged care across the country, caring for 1.3 million older Australians. With the number of Australians seeking aged care expected to triple by 2050, the workforce will need to grow to one million over the next 30 years.

Our staff work extraordinarily hard and take great pride in providing the best possible care for our residents. Adequate funding will help address workforce pressures, and allow us to increase our training program. For a not-for-profit purpose driven organisation like us, we are committed to invest in specialist dementia training, co-design of tailored programs and services, and in volunteer programs which benefit everyone.

The Royal Commission is a once in a generation opportunity to improve the aged care system for all older Australians. I urge the government to act now. Waiting until the final report in November 2020 will be too late.

In this newsletter, you will read more about our planned Currie Park 150 celebrations this Saturday in Euroa; the exciting news that the ENJOY exercise park research is a finalist in the VicHealth awards, our submission into the Victorian Government’s inquiry into homelessness, and stories about our wonderful residents.

Keith White, who had heart surgery two years ago, reckons he’s better now than he has ever been. He puts his state of health and well-being down to the life he has found at Currie Park, OCAV’s village in Euroa.

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