Action and not talk is needed on nursing home crisis

By Ben Wilson

The nursing home scandal keeps on going. What is coming to light now is not new. Vulnerable Australians have been exploited and mistreated for years.  The industry has been a vehicle to grab government handouts for as long.

Scott Morrison, our current prime minister is personally benefiting. This is the reason why it has become a special problem for him, and to deflect attention, he has eventually tilted to an inquiry.

An inquiry is not needed. The situation calls for decisive action.

Older Australians who, as a rule, have made a lifetime contribution to the nation, have earned the right to be treated respectfully in their twilight years. This means that society has an obligation to provide the resources necessary to live properly and have a stimulating sand meaningful life.

For a start. Nursing homes must be policed to ensure there is no abuse, that those in them are properly fed, and just as importantly, that every individual continues to have meaningful life. Our older Australians should not be treated as a commodity to spend the least possible on and to squeeze the last cent out of.

nursing homes that do not provide adequate resources should not be allowed to operate.

How many choose to end their life before their time, because they can find no escape from a life that has become so intolerable, that there is no point in continuing?

Fifteen years of research at Monash University found 3,000 preventable and premature deaths, according to Professor Joe Ibrahim. “All we’ve done is look at the tip of the iceberg,” he added. This is damning.

There will always be those who need intensive care. They have a right to Have their needs properly met. There are also many who would be much better off still connected to family and a community, to which they could continue to contribute. They end up in nursing homes, because of the lack of available resources to support them.

Keeping the bulk of older Australians in the community and valuing them as a national treasure of experience and knowledge to be passed on, would reduce the net cost on society.

But so long as they are regarded as a commodity to make a profit out of and the connection between owners of nursing homes and the political establishment remain, this is not going to happen.

A nursing home has become somewhere where you are parked to die. We should have never let it come to this. Australia must do much better than this.

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