Measuring ‘quality care’ in aged care is not an easy task. Without an understanding of aged care, or what is involved in delivering daily care to the elderly, you may buy into a negative picture painted by media.
That picture of late has indicated that a majority of aged care workers and providers are uncaring and only in it for the money. On the contrary, the industry is in fact full of extremely hard working, dedicated and caring individuals.
PUT INTO PERSPECTIVE
There have been recent calls for all operators in the aged care sector to publish all their complaints online so consumers can be fully aware of any and all issues. While this concept may be good in theory, let’s put it into some perspective. It is important to understand that of the 4500 complaints received by the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner in the recent reporting period, this only equates to complaints received from a very small percentage (0.3%) of the care clients in Australia. And whilst zero complaints is a target we would all love to see, expecting zero complaints and 100 per cent compliments is not realistic for any industry or business.
SEEK PROACTIVE CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
When assessing aged care options it is important to know and understand what the complaint management process is, and to choose a facility where there is a process and an environment of proactive continuous improvement. Consumers may be unhappy from time to time, but a resident centric facility that responds quickly and puts actions in place to address resident concerns will always remain in favour with residents.
PASSIONATE AND COMPASSIONATE STAFF
Most aged care workers chose their vocation because they are empathetic and extremely passionate about their roles in caring for the aged. The majority work extremely hard and are sensitive to the needs of their residents within an environment that is often very challenging and deeply emotional. It is often those same staff, so easily bagged by the media in recent times, that are the ones sitting there holding your loved one’s hand whilst they are passing or in large amounts of pain in the cold early hours of the morning.
DO YOUR OWN UP TO DATE RESEARCH
So, when you are assessing what facility offers the right quality care, be sure that you take a snap shot of the culture of care that exists in the facility. Facilities change and evolve and a bad review from 7 years ago doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the same now. Do your research, get referrals and read website testimonials (ensure they are current) to get a fair assessment of the ‘quality care’ that a facility can offer.
Contrary to some media reports, most Australian aged care workers deserve a lot more kudos for the services, compassion and empathy they provided to those in their care. At Infinite Aged Care, we have a structured complaint management system and a culture of continuous improvement.