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Eldercare's position on aged care matters

Eldercare has strong positions on many aged care matters, many of which impact the broader South Australian aged care sector.

Eldercare is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our residents and staff, as well as the family and friends of our residents. Keep up to date on our response to COVID-19.

Eldercare is supportive of this Royal Commission. The Commission provides an opportunity to engage in a much-needed, constructive national discussion about the value of older people and the future of aged care. Eldercare also hopes that it will highlight the valued and important contribution of thousands of workers, volunteers and carers working in aged care.

Eldercare believes that aged care has not been adequately funded through appropriate indexation and acknowledgement of the increasing costs of providing care.

Eldercare supports a funding model that does include contributions from those who can afford to pay for their accommodation and care.

A safety net should always be included in any funding system to ensure that those who need care receive appropriate care.

Eldercare has a zero tolerance to any form of elder abuse and takes strong action to prevent this abuse and to support older people who have been abused.

CCTV monitoring can be very useful when used appropriately. CCTV cameras are installed in various locations around Eldercare residential care sites including corridors, stairwells, entrances and exits, car parks as well as shared dining and living areas in our Memory Support Units for residents living with dementia. Specific requests to install CCTV cameras in resident rooms will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Legal requirements must be met before CCTV is installed in resident rooms.

Eldercare introduced a Physical Restraint-Free Policy in 2017. When this policy was introduced, we removed all types of physical restraint. As an alternative to physical restraint, Eldercare uses a variety of strategies to keep residents safe and to meet their individual needs.

Eldercare promotes an environment that focuses on person-centred, restraint-free strategies, rather than medication, to assist residents that are experiencing serious agitation or distress.

Eldercare staff have been trained in non-pharmacological strategies to support residents who may experience agitation or distress. Eldercare only supports the use of anti-psychotics as an absolute last resort when all alternatives have been explored or when a resident has been diagnosed with a medical condition that requires medical treatment. Consent must be given by the resident (if they have capacity to do so) or by the resident’s representative before any treatment is provided and under the instruction of the resident’s General Practitioner.

Eldercare has a strict policy that medications are only administered by nurses. Eldercare has a strong view that only qualified health professionals should be managing medication administration for optimal resident safety and health outcomes.

Eldercare is committed to ensuring that experienced Registered Nurses are on-site 24/7.

Eldercare strongly supports aged care providers being held to account for providing quality care to residents and safe environments for staff but Eldercare does not support mandating staffing ratios as the skill mix of staff, their qualifications and training and the way they work are also critical as is the care model that recognises the acuity and changing needs of residents.

Eldercare does not support the view that unqualified care staff should be employed in aged care services. Eldercare requires a minimum qualification of Certificate III for personal care staff.

Eldercare supports tertiary students being placed in aged care. We are committed to supporting the development of skills and knowledge in the aged care industry’s future workforce by providing exposure to purposeful learning experiences on placement and creating passion for working in the aged care industry.

Eldercare agrees that the new Quality Standards, effective 1 July 2019, have the potential to be a significant move for the sector towards being more closely aligned with the needs of each older person, and for the accreditation process to look for the way organisations are enabling meaning, purpose and connectedness in each person’s life.

Eldercare is committed to ensuring that all sites maintain full accreditation with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and has a strong compliance program across the organisation.

Eldercare believes that embedding a consistent culture of individualised goal setting would be a good place to start reorientation to CDC within residential care. Eldercare is eager to see how the Australian Government intends to apply CDC in residential care but believes that whilst giving consumers more choice, the funding model to support this needs to ensure the services are viable and be underpinned by a supportive regulatory framework.

Eldercare is committed to creating a service culture where consumers are actively involved in the decisions that impact their health and wellbeing outcomes.

Eldercare understands that being environmentally responsible is an important part of our business. We are committed to implementing actions to reduce our energy and emissions intensity, and other significant environmental impacts. Eldercare also accepts responsibility for supporting our people to take action in caring for our environment.

We welcome and respect the diversity that our residents, staff and volunteers bring to Eldercare. We encourage and expect respectful behaviour from everyone who lives, works and visits Eldercare. We do not accept any form of behaviour that vilifies or discriminates against someone else based on their beliefs, gender, sexuality, race or ethnicity.

Eldercare supports our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender diverse and intersex (LGBTI) residents, staff and volunteers to ensure they feel welcomed and safe. We are proud to be a Rainbow Tick accredited organisation.

Eldercare has a zero tolerance to any form of violence against women and children. Eldercare is a White Ribbon Accredited workplace and is proud to be part of this international movement aimed at stopping violence against women and children.

Eldercare is committed to working in mutual partnership with our residents and their families to ensure that we provide satisfactory responses to concerns raised. Eldercare encourages residents and/or family members to approach Eldercare in the first instance if they have concerns.

Eldercare has always been strongly connected with the Uniting Church in South Australia.

Eldercare is guided and motivated by the core values of our organisation – respect, accountability and connection – and by the Christian principles of the Uniting Church.

Other than the Synod being the appointing body for Board membership and the approving authority for any changes to the Constitution, the Synod has no authority or involvement (direct or indirect) in Eldercare’s decision making, control of its management or implementation of its objects or its affairs.

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