Helen Haines (centre-right) made history at the election as the first federal independent to succeed another independent.
Independent MP Helen Haines on using ‘soft power’
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Helen Haines, who does not have the real legislative power her predecessor, Cathy McGowan shared after the Coalition fell into minority government, says "building relationships is key to getting things done".
Most young people who enter aged care do so after acquiring a disability and need high levels of support.
Around 6,000 Australians aged under 65 still live in nursing homes, cut off from their families and peers, with inadequate support for their disabilities.
The aged care royal commission has looked at regulation in aged care.
Bureaucratic 'red tape' has contributed to the current crisis in our aged care system. We need a system of accountability that focuses more on residents' outcomes, and less on processes.
The royal commission has scrutinised aged care staffing.
Aged care facilities are employing fewer registered and enrolled nurses and more carers, which saves money but results in sub-standard care.
The Aged Care Royal Commission is currently looking at aged care for Indigenous Australians.
As the Aged Care Royal Commission shifts its focus to aged care for Indigenous Australians, access isn't the only challenge. Often problems arise when services don't accommodate their cultural needs.
The system is a complex mix of daily and refundable fees, base payments and means tested contributions.
While the majority of aged care funding comes from government, residents also have to contribute. Here's how the payment system works.
People in aged care homes might be restrained physically, or by administering medications that affect their behaviour.
Sedative medications and restraint belts are too often given to aged care residents with dementia to stop them wandering, prevent falls, or manage "difficult" behaviour.
Visually expressing painful memories and feelings can help let things go.
Creative arts therapies allow people with dementia to express joy and sadness through painting, dance, music and drama.
Residential aged care is an immersive service for those with more complicated care needs.
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The aged care royal commission begins hearing evidence today about the quality of care in nursing homes. These 10 charts show how the current system works and the challenges it faces.
Moving into aged care can affect a person’s ability to remain connected to their local community, but most aged care facilities don’t provide access to digital devices.
Older generations are increasingly more connected, but those living in aged care continue to experience a digital divide.
Home care providers’ profits are growing but many older Australians are missing out on quality care.
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This week the aged care royal commission heard evidence of long waits for home care, poorly trained staff and high fees. These 10 charts explain how the system works and why it's under such pressure.
The earlier you start planning, the better.
If you don't plan for your aged care and make your wishes known, you may be admitted to a hospital or aged care facility when something goes wrong. That's where most Australians end up dying.
Many older Australians prefer to stay at home than enter residential aged care – but the process of securing home care is riddled with complexities.
An elderly lady needs to change the time a carer visits to help her shower. The reality of today's market-driven home care system means she has to call a centralised 1800 number to arrange this.
In December, more than 127,000 Australians were waiting for a home care package.
The government will keep increasing the number of subsidised home care services, but it needs to find the right funding balance for the system to remain sustainable.
Chemical restraint occurs more often than we think in Australia’s aged care system.
Antipsychotic drugs are often used to "chemically restrain" aged care residents and control their behaviour. The system needs to change – but lessons from the US tell us it's not going to be easy.
Many older Australians want to stay at home, but will need help to be able to do so.
Home care packages are a viable alternative to residential aged care for many older Australians. But the process to secure these packages can be long and complicated.
There are several methods by which elderly people are physically restrained in nursing homes.
New regulations to stop the use of physical restraint on the elderly recognise a serious problem in our aged care system. But in order to really fix this issue, we need to address what's causing it.
Healthy people now in their 50s and 60s will be the first generations to benefit from reform. For people already in care, changes will come too late.
By the time the aged care royal commission's recommendations lead to improvements in our nursing homes, four cohorts of residents will have died. Here's why.
Australians are full of good ideas. Many made their debut in the pages of The Conversation.
The Conversation played host to really important new ideas in 2018. Some will take years to develop. Others will never come to fruition. But they're important.
Eliminating sexual abuse in nursing homes is a major challenge.
Eliminating sexual assault in nursing homes is a major challenge which starts with acknowledging it exists and recognising the scale of this abuse.