Remaking aged care in Australia starts with embracing people-centred design. Instead of the institutional model with its focus on restraint, we need to understand and design for people’s needs.
Super-spreader events typically have the ‘three Vs" in common: indoor venues, poor ventilation and vocalisation. But many buildings frequented by the public lack ventilation or the means to monitor it.
Image: Kathleen Brasher
If Australia created more age-friendly neighbourhoods — which really are more liveable for everyone — then we wouldn’t have to rely so heavily on underfunded, substandard aged-care homes.
Most aged care homes are designed to be naturally ventilated. But when windows are closed to keep out the cold, poor ventilation appears to be common – and that’s a problem for infection control.
Australia’s Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission found 45 of Bupa’s 72 nursing homes failed health and safety standards. In 22 homes the health and safety of residents was deemed at ‘serious risk’.
The failure of regulators to take decisive action against errant companies is an unintended consequence of the design of ‘responsive regulation’.
If residents are given poor quality foods that don’t meet their needs or preferences, they’re less likely to eat it.
Cost-cutting, funding that doesn’t reward good food, and residents not having a voice contribute to poor quality nutrition in our aged care homes. That can be devastating. But there is a better way.
A shade tree makes a big difference to the comfort of this couple.
Two trends in Australia, an ageing population and warming climate, are increasing the threat that heatwaves pose to our health. Increasing vegetation cover is one way every city can reduce the risk.
Through the NDIS, Kirby Littlely has been able to leave the nursing home where she stayed after a series of strokes.
The NDIS has started to reduce the admissions of young people with disabilities to aged care facilities, but more than 6,000 are still waiting for more suitable accommodation.
Premature death is still an issue if the patient is in a nursing home.
We tend to consider the deaths of older people, and especially those in care, are due to natural causes. But new research shows how many die from injuries and violence.