Many of the issues that people raise in terms of aged care could potentially be solved if there were stricter staff ratios.

Feedback on rushed mealtimes, skipped teeth brushing, overmedicating to the point of sedation, leave much to be desired with quality of care.

It’s been suggested that it’s the severe understaffing and under regulation of aged care facilities that has lead elderly Australians to not receive the care and treatment they need.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), is calling on federal politicians to make staffing ratios in aged care law – to protect vulnerable, older Australians.

“Enough is enough,” says Annie Butler, ANMF’s Assistant Federal Secretary.

After a meeting in Brisbane last week, Federal Executive unanimously passed a special resolution.

The resolution stated;

“The ANMF will soon be launching a national public awareness campaign calling for ratios in aged care to be made law now.  The voices of this campaign will be 6 individuals currently in the aged care system, a registered nurse, assistant in nursing, resident, family member, doctor and community supporter. This public campaign will about the experiences of real people in the aged care system, and why they say staffing is inadequate and must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

The national campaign aims to sends a strong message to the country’s politicians – that it’s “time to fix aged care for the sake of elderly nursing home residents and their families”.

“Australia has strict staff ratios for childcare, which is only fair and reasonable. But in aged care, it’s a very different story, where just 1 registered nurse may be responsible for managing the care of more than 100 residents.”

“There are no mandated ratios for aged care and no laws to ensure our elderly get the care they need.”

“Our Aged Care system has been ignored by governments for far too long and today the ANMF calls on federal politicians to stand-up for older Australians and support making ratios law in aged care.”

Ms Butler acknowledged Senator Hinch for his ongoing fight to place the issue of inadequate staffing in aged care on the parliamentary agenda.

Last September, Senator Derryn Hinch introduced the Aged Care Amendment (Ratio of Skilled Staff to Care Recipients Bill 2017), which aims to ensure that safe, quality care is provided to residents in aged care homes.

“Unfortunately, many of these Australians who have given so much to society are highly vulnerable, and are not currently guaranteed the standard of care they deserve within our aged care facilities,” said Senator Hinch at the time.

“The passage of this Bill would be an important step in moving towards an aged care system that is more focused on the protection of the elderly than on profit margins of aged care facilities.”

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