Re­port re­veals gap in re­mote aged care

Pilbara News - - News - Louise Alling­ham

A re­port by the Aged Care Fi­nanc­ing Au­thor­ity has shown aged care in ru­ral and re­mote ar­eas in­cur sig­nif­i­cantly higher costs than those in Perth.

The re­port found that com­pared to metropoli­tan age ser­vices, care man­age­ment costs are nearly four times higher, reg­is­tered and en­rolled nurses cost are al­most dou­ble, labour and main­te­nance costs are more than triple and cater­ing, laun­dry and clean­ing costs are higher as well as util­i­ties and con­sum­ables.

Lead­ing Age Ser­vices Aus­tralia said the re­cent re­port was all the proof the Fed­eral Govern­ment needed that ru­ral and re- mote age fa­cil­i­ties were do­ing it tough.

LASA Na­tional chief ex­ec­u­tive Pa­trick Reid said the find­ings could not be ig­nored by any political party claim­ing to be com­mit­ted to help­ing ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

Labour mem­ber for Min­ing and Pas­toral Stephen Daw­son said the Fed­eral Govern­ment needed to get se­ri­ous about the is­sue.

“I know of peo­ple who have had to leave town be­cause there is nowhere ap­pro­pri­ate for them to move into once they reach a cer­tain age or they be­come im­mo­bile, so it’s a very big is­sue that needs to be ad­dressed,” he said.

Yaan­d­ina Roe­bourne nurse man­ager Teresa Joy said re­mote aged fa­cil­i­ties weren’t only strug­gling fi­nan­cially.

“I came from an en­vi­ron­ment where GPs would come and visit,” she said

“Dr Ku­mar has agreed to come and see clients but the in­dige­nous clients un­der Mawarnkarra have to be trans­ported and that can be an is­sue at times.”

Sil­ver Chain gen­eral man­ager coun­try ser­vices Ca­role Bain said staffing re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion and low fluc­tu­at­ing de­mand could be yet an­other is­sue re­gional age ser­vices face.

“We recog­nise there are min­i­mal or no al­ter­na­tives, lim­it­ing the choice in­di­vid­u­als have,” she said.

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