HelloCare Aged Care News, Health & Dementia

  • “I am proudâ€�: Caring for older people in Vanuatu
    by Caroline Egan on January 21, 2020 at 7:18 am

    The HelloCare team was recently contacted by a carer from Vanuatu, Felma Katawa Leitarisong. Ms Leitarisong told us of her role caring for older people on the tiny island of Tanna, where she lives.  Though Ms Leitarisong cares for older people in much the same way we do here in Australia, there are essential differences - most notably, there are no aged care facilities.  We asked her to tell us more, and we share her experiences here with you. “In Vanuatu we don't really have an age care centre, or our government hasn't set up one yet,â€� Ms Leitarisong told us. “We, as ladies here, have the responsibility to look after our old people.  “Back in the islands, we don't have facilities for old people.  [caption id="attachment_15948" align="alignleft" width="277"] Tanna, the island where Ms Leitarisong lives. Image supplied.[/caption] “What I did […]

  • Government calls for input into draft plan for ageing population
    by Caroline Egan on January 21, 2020 at 3:31 am

      The federal government has released a draft version of its Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission Roadmap and is calling for feedback from the public. The aim of the $185 million ‘Roadmap’ is to help the government prioritise funding for dementia and aged care research. The key aim of the ‘Mission’ is to support older Australians to maintain their health and quality of life as they age, to live independently for longer, and to access quality care when they need it. Funding for the Mission is available through the Medical Research Future Fund, a $20 billion fund that supports investment in Australian health and medical research. A chance to have your say  Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said, “It’s important to ensure the research is targeted to have the greatest impact,â€� Mr Hunt said.  “I encourage […]

  • Elderly Couple Die Together Holding Hands In Nursing Home
    by Jakob Neeland on January 21, 2020 at 1:23 am

    An elderly couple in the US had their nursing home beds pushed together in the final moments of their lives allowing them to hold hands as they both passed away within hours of each other on the same day. Jack and Harriet Morrison were married for over 60 years and shared a relationship that could only be described as a fairytale. The couple first met in 1955 as a young Harriet accompanied her father on a bus trip with his marching band, and at that time, she would have been unaware that her future husband was actually driving the bus. They had their first date at a diner on Halloween of the same year, and from that point on they were completely inseparable. Jack and Harriet spent their middle years running a bus company together and raising a family that consisted of their two sons and a beloved niece. They were also active members of an organisation called the Moolah Shriners that are devoted to improving the lives of other people around the globe. Jack and Harriet were also lucky […]

  • Preventing suicide in nursing homes is possible: 3 ways to make a start
    by HelloCare Mail on January 20, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    Briony Murphy, Monash University and Joseph Ibrahim, Monash University Suicide among nursing home residents is a major concern. Between 2000 and 2013, around 140 Australian nursing home residents took their own lives. This issue has been hidden for too long, and met with minimal efforts targeted at prevention. We consulted with experts and stakeholders in aged care, geriatric medicine, old age psychiatry, suicide prevention and public policy to develop 11 recommendations for the prevention of suicide among nursing home residents. In our recently published study, we put forward three of these as the highest priorities for implementation: expanding suicide prevention frameworks to include aged care residents, aligning nursing home life with community living, and improving residents’ access to mental heath services. The scope of the problem Risk factors for suicide among nursing home residents include having diagnosed depression, declining physical health, and being […]

  • Major aged care provider reports $40 million loss
    by Caroline Egan on January 20, 2020 at 4:53 am

      One of the nation’s largest aged care providers has reported a loss of $40 million. However, after a property revaluation of nearly $24 million, the organisation’s “comprehensive lossâ€� was reported as $16 million. During the 2018-19 financial year, UnitingCare received nearly $651 million in government grants and subsidies.  On top of that it received $515 million in patient and client revenue, and $213 million in services and fees. Executives were paid $4.7 million, a decline from the previous year when they pocketed $5.3 million. The organisation does not reveal in its financial accounts how much its chief executive officer, Craig Barke, is paid.  Mr Barke was formerly chair of the company, and was appointed CEO on 3 October 2017. Not-for-profit UnitingCare Queensland operates 57 residential aged care facilities, in total 3,875 beds. In 2018 and 2019, UnitingCare saw several […]

  • Dementia patient and her carer sing Sinatra classic and hit number 7 on the charts
    by Jakob Neeland on January 20, 2020 at 1:00 am

    When 31-year-old carer Jamie Lee Morley first heard aged care resident Margaret Mackie sing, he automatically assumed that the beautiful voice he heard was coming from a nearby radio. While it is certainly not uncommon for aged care staff and residents to develop strong bonds, nobody at the Northcare Suites Care Home in Glasgow, Scotland, could have imagined what would happen next. The pair were recently thrust into the public spotlight as heartwarming footage of the young carer and the 83-year-old resident performing Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ at the nursing home Christmas party became a viral internet sensation. And if that wasn't enough, this dynamic duo have now recorded the song professionally and it is soaring up the charts in the UK. Like many seniors living with dementia, Margaret experiences significant issues with short-term memory loss, but her ability to recall classic songs and the positive effects of this process […]

  • Hearts of gold
    by Michael Preston on January 19, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    Three years ago I walked into a memory support facility in Gerringong NSW. I had recently moved to the area with my partner from Tasmania and had graduated with a degree in dementia from the University of Tasmania the year before. So I was eager to specialise in an area I had become passionate about over the past three years.  From the moment I stepped into the door, I was greeted by smiling faces, from the manager to staff and residents. The staff on duty proudly showed me around and introduced me to the people who lived there. The facility has 25 rooms on two floors, both have access to small secluded gardens. The building is 25 years old and in need of refurbishment which thankfully will be taking place next year.  All of the staff I encountered were welcoming warm and caring individuals who were there solely for the people who lived there. As one person commented “it was certainly not for the moneyâ€�; it was because the […]

  • Aged care residents receive half the funding of prisoners
    by Caroline Egan on January 17, 2020 at 3:46 am

      Aged care residents receive around half the government funding of prisoners, the CEO of a Tasmanian nursing home has told local media. Aged Care Deloraine CEO, Charlie Emmerton, told The Advocate it was “really sadâ€� older members of the community receive such low levels of funding. “On average we get $50,000 a year for a resident, which includes their daily care, cleaning, washing, medication, and food. "If I was running a prison I would get $100,000 per inmate. In a prison they don't need to be toileted or hand fed or help with putting their clothes on,â€� he said. Mr Emmerton was commenting on the latest report by StewartBrown, which shows more than 50 per cent of the aged care operators surveyed are making a loss. The results are even worse in outer regional and remote areas, where 65 per cent of homes made a loss, compared with 47 per cent in cities. Mr Emmerton said his facility is one of the homes […]

  • Aged Care Staff Need To Be Careful About What They Say Online
    by Jakob Neeland on January 17, 2020 at 2:40 am

    While there is no doubt that the internet has enhanced our ability to access information and communicate with those we love, giving everyone the ability to speak to the masses is not a privilege without complications. The vast majority of Australians have personal social media accounts, and it is not uncommon to see posts from friends and family members who take the opportunity to vent their frustrations publicly. The last three years have seen a surge in the number of people over the age of 50 using social media sites like Facebook, and aged care staff who have an average age of 45 have a strong online presence. Caring for elderly people - particularly those who are unable to express gratitude - can be a thankless job, which is why it comes as no surprise that aged care staff are searching for emotional support online.  Frustration regarding working conditions, clarity regarding best-practice, and gripes with work culture are just some of the issues being shared online. […]

  • Savings from home care changes should go to cutting wait list
    by Caroline Egan on January 16, 2020 at 6:31 am

      The government is proposing to change the way it delivers funding for home care services because there is a growing problem with rising levels of unspent funds. Currently, funding for home care is delivered in bulk and upfront. One problem of that system is when funding is not spent by the consumer, it remains with the provider. Home care providers currently have around $800 million worth of unspent funds sitting on their books. The average level of unspent funds per provider is around $7,000. Providers deal with the unspent funds in a range of ways. Some treat unspent funds as working capital, which means they don’t have to access other sources of working capital, such as borrowing. Some providers quarantine the unspent funds to ensure they are only used to pay for the care of consumers. Interest on those funds can be for various purposes.  Some providers have unspent funds held by a third party on behalf of […]

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