Lo­cal aged care – who’s lis­ten­ing?

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

Over the past 16 years our com­mit­tee the Moss­man Dis­trict Nurs­ing Home Inc has seen the face of aged care change im­mensely. The fed­eral gov­ern­ment through their Depart­ment of Health and Age­ing is now en­gaged in sup­port­ing age­ing clients in their own homes and we, as a com­mit­tee, sup­port th­ese ini­tia­tives. Th­ese care ini­tia­tives are the com­mu­nity care pack­ages that we of­ten hear car­ers speak about. While we wel­come th­ese de­vel­op­ments, the ques­tion still ex­ists. What hap­pens when stay­ing at home is no longer an op­tion? It is this area that I be­lieve the gov­ern­ment is fail­ing to ad­dress, par­tic­u­larly in the ru­ral ar­eas. In Dou­glas Shire we have 812 peo­ple over the age of 70 and within that group 106 are over 85 years of age. De­men­tia and pal­lia­tive care are in­creas­ing with alarm­ing ra­pid­ity, and it is a known fact that age­ing rel­a­tives are stay­ing at hos­pi­tals wait­ing a place­ment some­where, any­where . . . even if it is hours away from the fam­ily. And that is not good enough. We de­serve the same con­sid­er­a­tion as those in the city. MDNH Inc is ad­dress­ing this is­sue by part­ner­ing with a not for profit or­gan­i­sa­tion whose ap­pli­ca­tion for beds was re­jected again in the last ACAR round. A sec­ond costly ap­pli­ca­tion was done and was praised by the Depart­ment of Health and Age­ing for the qual­ity of its re­search, fac­tual in­for­ma­tion and sta­tis­tics and yet the ap­pli­ca­tion didn’t get over the line, de­spite be­ing ac­com­pa­nied 600 let­ters of sup­port from this com­mu­nity. Let­ters that told sto­ries of hard­ships, en­dured in car­ing for rel­a­tives and part­ners, and in all cases there was the un­der­ly­ing fear that the so­lu­tion for the part­ner/rel­a­tive was to be housed in a fa­cil­ity hours away from the fam­ily. Why does it seem to be per­ceived by the gov­ern­ment depart­ment of the day that peo­ple in the coun­try are un­equal to their coun­ter­parts in the city? Our re­gion of con­sid­er­a­tion ex­tends as far as the Tor­res Strait, down near Card­well and out past Ma­reeba into the gulf. How can we com­pete? My an­swer to that is that we can­not stop try­ing re­gard­less of how big the brick wall is. Be­side the need for aged care beds in this area, we recog­nise the ris­ing need for both in­de­pen­dent and as­sisted hous­ing and hope that ne­go­ti­a­tions with the new coun­cil will move us all in a pos­i­tive di­rec­tion in that the block of land pur­chased by the 2000-2004 DSC will fi­nally be utilised. In the past four years we have suc­cess­fully lob­bied the CRC to gain a lease on the land so en­sur­ing it re­mained with the com­mu­nity. We have the land. We have the com­mu­nity sup­port. We just don’t have the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s sup­port. We con­tinue to look at ways and means of achiev­ing our goals.We are con­stantly talk­ing with War­ren Entsch who in turn rat­tles the doors of the gov­ern­ment. Some­one some­where must hear our voice.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.