Joseph Ibrahim, Professor and Research Director in Health Law and Aging at Monash University, specializes in issues related to the care of the elderly. He has long advocated improving the quality of life of people in homes and reforming the sector.
In this podcast, Ibrahim says that currently COVID in nursing homes is ignored by the media. “If you look at the mass media, it seems like it’s not a problem at all. [But] the death rate from COVID is much higher than at any time in the last two or three years. So While vaccinations have helped bring the situation under control, the lack of restrictions is pushing infection rates to historic highs. Ibrahim believes that outbreaks occurring in institutions need to be addressed more individually depending on the circumstances.
Anthony Albanese’s main campaign promise was 24-hour nursing care in facilities for the aged. Ibrahim is skeptical how this will be achieved considering how long it will take to achieve the goal. “We will need 15,000 new nurses to have a nurse in each facility 24 hours a day.”
More generally, what Ibrahim says is a “disrespect” for older workers in the desperately understaffed sector, citing low pay, less salaries and fewer career opportunities compared to health care workers in hospital environment. road
Home care packages are the key to many seniors being able to stay at home. “I don’t think we were keeping people at home as much as we could….Both governments have reviewed and increased the number of support programs available. The problem is that the package may be available, but the staff is not there to deliver what is in the package. In some cases, “I think people want to stay home because they’re afraid to go to hostels, so hospital treatment isn’t seen as an option, it’s seen as a last resort. ” .
More radically, Ibrahim would like to see the total cessation of nursing homes. “We shouldn’t have nursing homes at all […] Do we think orphanages are a good way to care for children from broken or parentless families?
An alternative to nursing homes would be “you could have small communal accommodations that can accommodate five to ten people”.
“Or what you did in your 60s, 70s or 80s, there is a design change in terms of downsizing and moving to a house that is more likely to meet your needs […] It there are also communal accommodations. people of different ages participate. and people have different needs
“I think we’ve been too lazy to rely on nursing homes as a solution. So we’ve chosen a lazy solution, and we’re doing it wrong.”