Royal Commission

Ah…things have been busy for Planning for the Next Season. You might have gathered that from the year+ absence from the website. Here’s the update:

Planning for the Next Season is still my passion and I am still doing workshops for older people and their families and I’m also working in a Business Development role at Technology for Ageing and Disability WA (TADWA). As a result, my activity with Planning for the Next Season has been a little slower than it has been over the last couple of years.

I’m sure that many of you will have seen part one of the Four Corners expose into aged care. It was shocking on many fronts. After 30+ years in the sector both in the US and Australia though, one thing hit home hard and that is nothing much has changed in all that time.

In the late 80’s when I first started my work in ageing, the type of ill treatment and neglect highlighted in the Four Corners piece was a source of frustration for me. Elder abuse was not  unheard of. Way back then, myself, and others like me, worked hard to make the aged care system better for aged care consumers and their families. Flash forward to 2018 to aged care reform, changes in the funding mechanisms, inquiries and reports into elder abuse and now- a Royal Commission.

We need to do better.

Could it be that the current style of residential care doesn’t work very well? Could it be that we are not providing enough information for people and families who will need aged care? Could it be that we, as old people in training would rather not plan for our ageing futures, preferring to leave it to chance? Could it be that we, as a society have a real challenge understanding this is an issue until it’s too late and all we can do is point fingers?

Sorry to be a downer, but you would think that 30 years would be enough time for us all to come together to figure out how to care for people. It’s really important- if not for you than for someone you care about.

I welcome the Royal Commission but I wonder- will one more report, unless it has a direct plan of action, really make a difference….or will we still be talking about this in another 30 years?