More workers are urgently needed in aged care facilities to ensure proper levels of care are achieved.
Aged care workers aren't paid well.Jenny Hazelton, President of Orange Push for Palliative
Jenny Hazelton, the president of the Orange Push for Palliative Care said she was supporting a national campaign to improve conditions for elderly people.
A petition to call on the federal government to do more for aged care has now gained 75,830 signatures on the way to a target of 150,000.
Mrs Hazelton said aged care workers played a vital role.
“They do an important job that often isn’t recognised,” she said.
“Aged care workers aren’t paid well.
“It is a very demanding job.
“It is important to have good care.
“My mum is needing more and more care.”
She said the elderly needed consistent care.
“I think we’re lucky with the aged care facilities we have here in Orange.
“But there is constant pressure on facilities when their resources are stretched.”
The petition, started by Victorian woman Jane Seaholme said that without mandated ratios of staff to residents elderly people were at risk of neglect.
“We require the government to mandate staff/resident ratios for all aged care facilities across Australia, to protect our elders, to keep them safe from neglect and to be cared for with dignity and respect in the manner they deserve,” she said.
Mrs Hazelton said it was hoped a hospice for palliative care could be established in Orange this year.
Last year member for Orange Phil Donato delivered a petition signed by people in Orange for better palliative care.
The Orange Palliative Working Group has since been working across several areas to make it happen.
At the group’s last meeting of 2017 a public-private partnership was discussed as an interim measure.
Mr Donato said there had been interest in the partnership but the long-term goal was to have a designated facility for end-of-life treatment.
“It would be a partnership perhaps in a private facility, but which would cater for public patients as well,” he said.
“We want to make sure it’s an inclusive service rollout for all the community that could expedite the process somewhat.
“But we’re also looking at long-term options as well, which would look at a designated facility or hospice.”