Aged Care Providers- Options for Immediate Response to the Aged Care Royal Commission (ACRC) Final Report

Purpose

The purpose of this document is to present Aged Care Providers with options for how they can immediately put in place solutions that address some of the recommendations from ACRC Final Report.

ACRC Final Report- Our analysis

The recommendations of the ACRC Final Report have been well received by the author of this document.

However, money is not the answer to the problem. Federal Government estimates state that the Federal Government’s annual aged care spend of $20 Billion today, would need to increase to $130 Billion, in today’s dollars, to address the recommendations of the ACRC Final Report.

Even if the money was available, there are still not enough care workers available to do the work.

We need to look at alternate solutions to help address some of the recommendations, with technology having a major role to play!

ACRC Final Report – Headline items that can be addressed today

The ACRC Final Report highlights that

  • There is insufficient workforce to cover the needs of the industry today. The need for trained workers is only increasing.
  • The important role of informal carers and volunteers are addressed in 16 of the 148 recommendations, yet no solution is given as to how to “activate” further these roles
  • Apart from the heavily reported clinical issues, quality of life indicators play a very significant role in the overall care outcomes. The need for social, emotional and physical supports are highlighted in 23 of the 148 recommendations.
  • The issues of ageism, tech literacy and the implementation of telehealth( recommendation 63) are highlighted throughout the report

The immediate response that we propose is based on our experience in helping to activate the natural support network of family, friends, local community groups and volunteers and Aged Care Providers. The natural support network provides emotional, social and physical supports and “workers”, at no cost to the Provider. The challenge for the Care Provider is simply “ How do we activate the natural support network”

Immediate response available today, that is in use across communities throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Activate the natural support network for seniors

We have witnessed an immediate benefit in the quality of life outcomes by

  • Activating the natural community safeguards of family, friends, community and volunteers through the use of technology
  • Connecting seniors, via technology, to their families and friends, regardless of where they are located
  • Enabling seniors to build both physical and virtual social groups, via technology
  • Connecting local community groups and volunteers, with the appropriate safeguards, to seniors in need
  • Reducing ageism, through building connections between schools and intergenerational studies
  • Enabling seniors to build their own sense of independence, by being more in control of their own care, and where the senior is unable to use technology, allowing seamless control to their designated support person ( care worker, family, friend or volunteer)
  • Making technology simple and easy to use, with a platform for “first time users” and another for “low technology users”

An example of such a solution is the Hunters Hill Community app. The community app is a partnership between Hunters Hill Council, Checked in Care, Local Aged Care Services Providers and local Community and charity groups. ( see https://www.huntershill.nsw.gov.au/news/hunters-hill-connect-app-launch/) The Hunters Hill Community app is enabling

  • Seniors, and their support circle, to have all the information they need re local services, volunteers and activities to help in their social, emotional and physical outcomes
  • Allows the support circle to know that the senior is up and about their daily routine- the app platform recognises each time the senior uses their smart device. With the help of advanced analytics, the app platform trends the daily activity of the seniors, and if no activity is detected on a certain day, an “inactive notification” alert is sent to the support circle , suggesting that they “check in” with the senior. With the senior’s consent, the support circle can also check the senior’s last known location.
  • Sharing of photos, videos and “what’s happening” in the local community
  • Ability to build both virtual and physical social connections and interest groups

Outcome

An improved quality of life, at a reduced cost

For more information, please contact john.perkins@checkedincare.com.au

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