Aged Care Residents Facing New Risk on Doctor Visitation According to Survey

Aged Care Residents Facing New Risk on Doctor Visitation According to Survey

In Australia, there exists around 80 per cent of Australians that are aged 65 years and up who rely on their age pension. Currently, the country houses around 3.7 million Australians aged 65 and up, which is already 15 per cent of the population. The population growth of the ageing is also expected to increase by 8.7 million in 2056, and 12.8 million people in 2096, which is already 22 per cent and 25 per cent of the population by then, respectively.

With three in four people aged 85 and up living in private dwellings, it is very common to see family members take care of their ageing loved ones. Caring for the aged is a big responsibility, especially with all the tasks involved:

  • General observation of their well-being
  • Accompanying them to the doctors back and forth
  • Adjusting meals and nutrition based on conditions
  • Administration of medicine and maintenance supplements
  • Monitoring their state of mental health

Aged care also has an effect on the household income and expense ratio as the cost of maintenance such as medicine and long term health care are financially challenging. However, in terms of financing, families can also seek help from the government, which currently has funding allocated for aged care.

Another option for families is to consider residential aged care if the household is not equipped to deal with the demands of aged care. Residential aged care are special-purpose facilities that provides accommodation and other types of aged care support, such as day-to-day living assistance, intensive forms of care, and assistance towards independent living, to aged residents.

The question whether residential aged care is the right joint-decision as agreed upon by the elderly and their families are a difficult question. Families must know the state of residential aged care today and within the next four to five years.

A recent survey revealed that more than one in three doctors is considering stopping their regular visits in residential aged care facilities within the next two years, which could affect the health and well-being of older Australians living in aged residential dwellings.

The survey, titled the 2017 AMA Aged Care Survey, the Australian Medical Association (AMA), the report released results showing different urgent issues being emphasised by around 600 general practitioners, consultant physicians, palliative care and geriatrician specialists who were surveyed.

Dr Tony Bartone, a doctor from AMA, said the survey was released in order to have action in aged care. And it has actually raised worrying concerns, Aged Care Guide reported.

“Australia is facing an ageing population, with more chronic, complex medical conditions than ever,” Dr Bartone said. “The aged care workforce does not have the capability, capacity and connectedness to adequately meet the needs of older people.”

“People living in residential aged care facilities must have timely access to medical practitioners to avoid adverse health events, unnecessary hospitalisations and associated costs to the health system,” he added.

One of the urgent issues is the potential cutbacks in services under the residential aged care. According to the study, there are more than 35 per cent of participating doctors who are planning to not take additional patients, and even reduce the number of regular visits or stop the visits altogether in the next two years.

It is reported that the root cause of this is the lack of experienced and trained nurses in aged care, and also inadequate Medicare patient rebates. Another reason for the cutbacks is the ongoing trend happening in the healthcare field wherein the registered nurses are replaced with personal care attendants who have no appropriate training in aged care. The survey said there was almost 85 per cent of respondents who answered having more experienced nurses is of “top priority”, while 66 per cent said it’s urgent or extremely urgent.

“Many doctors reported that there is sometimes no nurse available for doctors to carry out a clinical handover and no nurse available to administer medicines after hours,” Dr Bartone said. “This poses serious risks to the health of patients living in residential aged care facilities.”

Dr Bartone added: “Adequate funding must be provided to ensure that Australia’s ageing population has access to quality medical care through a quality aged care workforce.”

Growing old is part of life, and it’s the responsibility of the family to take care of their ageing love one. There are two options for this: to live with the family or to bring the ageing love one into a residential dwelling.

Within the next couple of years, the aged care industry will need professionals and associates that have received institutionalised training in order to cope with Australia’s ageing population. A certificate iii individual support course in Melbourne through MCIE is a career pathway in order to work in the ageing and home and community care sectors.

For enquiries about the course, contact MCIE today: Call: 1300 737 004 during Monday to Friday at 9:00am to 5:00pm or Email: email info@mcie.edu.au or visit the Contact Us Page: https://www.mcie.edu.au/contact/

Melbourne City Institute of Education (MCIE) is a vibrant and innovative registered training organisation, which offers a range of courses in Melbourne to help students to fulfil their career goals.

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