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Sarah Russell
Sarah Russell Oct 17, 2018

‘Robbed of precious time’: chemical restraints and aged care

Nearly two-thirds of aged care residents are prescribed psychotropic drugs regularly. Questions that must be urgently asked. Mary’s 85-year-old husband had been in an aged care home for just over a week. He had been getting frailer but was still sharp mentally. However, Mary* became extremely worried when her husband started sleeping all day. After much ado, Mary obtained access to the medication chart for her husband. The aged care home’s GP had prescribed risperidone (an anti-psychotic medication), oxazepan (a...
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Sarah Russell

Sarah Russell

Aged Care Matters

Dr Sarah Russell is a public health researcher who became interested in aged care when her parents moved to an aged care home. After her father died, she stopped full-time work so she could spend as much time with her Mum as possible. She wanted her Mum’s quality of life to be as good as it could be. She wanted her Mum to feel valued and be engaged in her ‘twilight years’. The time Sarah spent with her Mum in the aged care home was precious for them both. Although Sarah enjoyed the 4 years she spent with residents and staff, she watched the comings and goings in the aged care home with a critical eye.

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Sarah Russell
Sarah Russell Oct 16, 2018

‘I’d rather die’: the horror stories of aged care don’t tell the whole story

Distinguishing between good and bad providers of aged care is difficult. Transparency is the only answer. The government has finally announced a royal commission into aged care. The royal commission needs to shine the spotlight on providers of both residential aged care homes and in-home aged care. In response to all the heart breaking media reports, government and provider peak bodies continue to describe Australia’s aged care sector as ‘world class’. They claim a consumer driven, free market based aged...
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Sarah Russell
Sarah Russell Oct 5, 2018

Has government by media replaced consideration of evidence in aged care?

Surely Scott Morrison didn’t need ABC’s Four Corners to inform him that the aged care sector is a national disgrace. Prime minister Scott Morrison’s announcement of a royal commission into aged care quality and safety surprised everyone, including the aged care minister, Ken Wyatt, who, until recently denied the need for one. We still do not know the name of the commissioner, how much it will cost or the terms of reference, suggesting this is policy-on-the-run. The announcement came on...
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Sarah Russell
Sarah Russell Oct 1, 2018

Rethinking The Staff-Quality Relationship In Aged Care Homes

The Aged Care Minister and provider peak bodies were recently asked to explain their opposition to mandating minimum ratios  of registered nurses in aged care homes. This led to an opinion piece in which their claims were contested. The Aged Care Guild has recently used a financial argument to oppose ratios, and priced mandated ratios as an extra $5 billion per year. This is a bit rich from a peak body that represents the 8 biggest aged care providers –...
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