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 respects the rights of residents to exercise self-determination and autonomous decision making in the delivery of their care, including palliative and end of life care.
Eldercare believes residents should have the right to choose to access all available healthcare options under law, including voluntary assisted dying.
Residents who choose to access voluntary assisted dying will be treated with the same dignity, respect and compassion afforded to all residents throughout their end-of-life journey.
Eldercare was supportive of this Royal Commission. The Commission provided an opportunity to engage in a much-needed, constructive national discussion about the value of older people and the future of aged care. Eldercare believes that it highlighted the valued and important contribution of thousands of workers, volunteers and carers working in aged care.
Eldercare was disappointed that the Government of the day did not go far enough with the acceptance and implementation of the Commission’s recommendations. Eldercare hopes that the new Government elected in May 2022 will go further with implementing the Commission’s recommendations to improve the quality of care for aged care recipients, conditions and wages for aged care workers and the funding for aged care providers.
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 extremely useful when used appropriately. CCTV devices are placed in various locations around Eldercare residential care sites, e.g., corridors, stairwells, entry/exit doors, carparks and memory unit-shared dining and living areas. Specific requests to install CCTV 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 2016. When Eldercare introduced this policy, all types of physical restraints were removed. 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 legal representative before any treatment is provided and under the instruction of the resident’s General Practitioner or Medical Specialist.
Eldercare has a strict policy that medications are only administered by Nurses. Eldercare has a strong view that 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 support targets being in place for minimum care minutes for each resident per day, but these targets need to be supported with adequate funding.
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 Quality Standards, implemented in 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 has successfully implemented these new standards.
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 aged 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 has a consumer engagement strategy and plan in place.
Eldercare is committed to a seamless approach to resident care which includes hospitality services.
We provide our residents, wherever possible, with locally sourced food and drinks that make up a well-balanced diet. This is good for our residents’ health and wellbeing – and good for South Australia.
All Eldercare sites provide additional services to residents as our service offer. Additional services must be services that are above the requirements set out in the Aged Care Act’s specified services.
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, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) residents, staff, and volunteers to ensure they feel welcomed and safe. We are pleased to be accredited under the Rainbow Tick Program.
Eldercare has a zero tolerance to any form of violence. 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’s Corporate Governance Framework guides the Board, Executive and Management of Eldercare to ensure that the organisation has the systems and processes in place to achieve the organisation’s purpose, values, and strategic directions and that they are held to account for the achievement of these.
The Eldercare Board has identified that the development of a corporate social responsibility strategy is critical for the company to achieve 'good governance'. It is acknowledged that Eldercare has a responsibility to be socially and environmentally responsible.
Eldercare’s core business is residential aged care and retirement living. Eldercare has made the decision to grow these areas as entering the home care sector now, without being able to build scale quickly, may compromise Eldercare’s success. This position may be reviewed in the future.
Eldercare is committed to provide flexibility to retirees by offering various DMF retentions dependant on contract types. There should be no 'hidden costs'.
Eldercare believes that the new South Australian Retirement Living Act is a welcomed improvement, providing more transparency, support, and protection for residents.
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.