Australians taking relatives out of aged care

Aged care facilities have been hit hard by the pandemic (Bigstock)

More Australians are taking their elderly relatives out of aged care facilities as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to expose cracks in the troubled sector, new data shows. Source: News.com.au.

Research conducted by data consultancy firm Fifth Dimension showed 53 per cent of 1000 Australians surveyed in August had lost faith in aged-care and 54 per cent were moving to take their relatives out of nursing homes.

Just Better Care chief operating officer Alison Chandler, who delivers in-home aged care services, said she had been “inundated” with referrals since the pandemic started.

She also said staff members were dealing with a “huge number” of referrals from Frankston Hospital in Melbourne’s southeast, where a COVID-19 outbreak forced more than 600 healthcare workers into isolation about two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, data released to The Age shows that many of the aged care homes hardest hit by Victoria’s coronavirus outbreaks were given a clean bill of health by the federal regulator only months before their first infections. Fifty homes across Melbourne have recorded at least one resident death.

In the past eight weeks, after coronavirus escaped Melbourne’s quarantine hotels into the wider community, 531 elderly Victorians have died in aged care homes. Six more deaths in aged care were recorded yesterday.

Analysis of the accreditation process followed by Canberra’s Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission shows the Victorian homes where many coronavirus deaths and illnesses occurred passed their assessments.

Despite full marks from the regulator for most homes, coronavirus has exposed holes in those infection controls.

Federal Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck said efforts to strengthen protections for senior Australians “remain a priority for the Australian Government”.

FULL STORY

Aussies taking relatives out of aged care amid COVID-19 pandemic, data shows (By Anthony Piovesan, News.com.au)

Federal aged care watchdog approved homes with worst COVID-19 outbreaks (By Clay Lucas, The Age

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