Solving the Nursing home crisis

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Solving the Nursing home crisis

MP Ken Wyatt recently  said "risks to senior Australians will be investigated promptly and care facilities identified faster."   Well I believe there  should not be "risks" to seniors in nursing homes and,  ïdentifying facilities "faster"  will not help those already neglected, intimidated and abused.
The Nursing Home crisis can be solved but it will take an AWAKENING  of the Australian people to the plight of the elderly  and then the people demanding polys fix the situation.  When people bug polys, polys take action.  Kind of like a blowtorch on a snakes behind, the people are the blowtorch.
Billions of government dollars are provided to nursing homes and we should expect quality care to residents in return.  Maybe we are not providing enough money to nursing homes for them to provide an acceptable quality of life to the elderly.
There are two sides of the equation here; nursing homes must have a decent profit level  and must provide  a good quality of life to the elderly.
If nursing homes do not get enough money, they have to cut corners.  Manpower is the most expensive resource,  so manning levels are cut and the as a result, residents quality of life suffers.
I have first hand experience as I lived in a nursing home in the 1980's doing a Management Advisory Study staying in the nursing home 24 hours a day for seven days.   I did my study from 0500 to 2430 each day and I witnessed  neglect, intimidation and abuse.
Over the years,  I fought to improve conditions, being on the Governors  Nursing Home Advisory Board in Hawaii and even being on the National Committee for the White House Council for Aging in the 1990's.  My Hawaii Law Firm even awarded cash awards to the "best of the best"CNA's in Hawaii each year.
It was all to no avail and "things: continued to happen in nursing homes,  " rich" ones and "poor" ones.     So I kind of backed away from it all and basically said  to myself that it is not going to improve so just take care of yourself.  I moved to OZ  years ago and have been a citizen since 2012.
The recent comments by MP Wyatt have brought it all back to  me.
To keep this short, I better just sum up my feelings for solving this delema. It is not right for citizens to live a great life for 70 to 80 years and then just live their last six months  to a year in a nursing home being neglected, intimidated and abused.  They will never tell you that because if they do and you report it, it will be bad for the resident  by retaliation.
In summary, Australia is small enough population wise to improve the QUALITY OF LIFE  of nursing home residents AND provide a decent profit level to operators, but it will take a PUBLIC AWARENESS campaign to get people to call their polys.   Australia could set an example to the world that we must treat our elderly to  decent quality of life in nursing homes.
The solution is two prong; increase government funding to allow operators a decent profit/financial  level AND for this improved funding ESTABLISH a real WATCHDOG SYSTEM with teams in every state and the NT to make UNANNOUNCED INSPECTIONS to nursing homes..If they  fail then take REAL action with a warning and then a followup with SEVERE  action if they fail the next UNANNOUNCED INSPECTION.
The bottom line is we provide adequate funding and in return the operators provide a good QUALITY OF LIFE TO THE ELDERLY.  NO MORE  neglect, intimidation and abuse.
We provide government support to the other end; child day care centers..how about the end of life side. Let us make those last six months  to a year of life in a nursing  home pleasant for those citizens who built and supported this Country during their productive years.  
It will take a PUBLIC AWARENESS campaign to get the people aware of the real daily SUFFERING  of the elderly in nursing homes.  Sure there are good operators, but believe me, in my travels,  I have seen BAD things happen in "rich"and "poor"nursing homes.  Please let your POLY know you want nursing home residents to have a good  QUALITY OF LIFE and support funding to make that happen.
Lets get on it!
Henry Hannigan
 

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