The situation in aged care affects us all.

They are our parents and grandparents, people who looked after us and loved us, but now many of them — especially those in need of high care — are left unfed, unwashed and even in soiled nappies for hours… all because there aren’t enough aged care staff.

Over the past 13 years, chronic understaffing has seen a 400% increase in preventable deaths of elderly Australians in aged care, with hundreds dying from falls, choking and suicide.

Overworked nurses and care staff do the best they can in impossible circumstances, but they are run off their feet and can’t provide the care they know they can deliver.

Meanwhile, aged care providers racked up over $1 billion in profits last year while cutting staff.

OUR CALL FOR RATIOS IN AGED CARE

Currently, residents are receiving about 2 hours 50 minutes of care per day from nurses and carers, which is nowhere near enough time to shower, toilet, medicate, dress, feed, roll over, and move, let alone talk to an aged care resident.

The evidence shows residents should receive a minimum of 4 hours 18 minutes of care per day — one and a half hours more than they are getting now.

Australia has strict staff ratios for childcare, which is as it should be.

But there are no ratios for aged care and no laws to ensure our elderly get the care they need. It’s a crisis that shames us as a nation.

Our aged care system has been ignored by federal governments for far too long.

IT’S TIME FOR ACTION

The upcoming May budget and federal election is our chance to get the federal government to take action.

Our campaign will officially launch in May on Labour Day, but in the meantime you can sign up to the campaign and join thousands of supporters across Australia.

Visit www.MoreStaffForAgedCare.com.au and join the campaign

Join the aged care conversation on Facebook — www.facebook.com/ MoreStaffForAgedCare

This is a campaign for all QNMU members, regardless of what sector you work in. So get ready to stand up and speak out in support of our aged care nursing colleagues.

Originally published InScope Autumn18

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