FRUSTRATIONS with the region's aged care sector were raised at recent community meetings held as part of the royal commission into industry.
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety paid a visit to Dubbo and Mudgee earlier this month and encouraged community members to come along and have a say.
Members of Orange's age-cared community were encouraged to attend the Mudgee meeting, and of the 145 people who attended the community meetings across both sites some shared stories of substandard or unsafe aged care services, while others praised the sector and its workers.
"Royal commission staff sought people's views on the strengths, challenges and opportunities to improve aged care services in regional Australia," a commission spokeswoman said.
In Dubbo, 90 people attended the meetings where they raised a number of issues.
"[They included] difficulties in accessing transport, the challenge of distance when a person in care is located in another town, frustration with government bureaucracy [and] skill levels of aged care staff," the spokeswoman said.
[Complaints included] difficulties in accessing transport, the challenge of distance when a person in care is located in another town, frustration with government bureaucracy [and] skill levels of aged care staff.Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety spokeswoman
Attendees also raised the need to provide aged care residents with nutritious food, and the importance of family advocates for residents.
The also said there was a need for increased training for aged care workers caring for people living with dementia.
In Mudgee, 55 people attended the community meetings.
"Interest in the meetings among the local community was high with registrations to attend continuing until the last minute," the royal commission spokeswoman said of the six meetings in Mudgee.
"Contributions from those who attended the Mudgee meetings included positive aspects of ageing in a regional community, experiences with home care and aged care through different types of services in Mudgee and surrounding areas and the opportunities available to make aged care services world class."
The spokeswoman said those who attended provided the royal commission with a "great deal of valuable information" and some people indicated that they planned to make a submission.
"The information gathered at the royal commission's community meetings in Mudgee and Dubbo is used to assist in the preparation of our hearing in Mudgee, the theme of which is the provision of aged in regional areas," she said.
The upcoming royal commission hearing in Mudgee from November 4-6 will be the only one held in regional NSW with the public welcome to attend. The location of this hearing is yet to be announced.
For those who did not attend the meetings they are welcome to make a submission by the following methods:
- Online with the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
- In writing to the Royal Commission at GPO Box 1151 Adelaide SA 5001
- Via email to: ACRCenquiries@royalcommission.gov.au
- By calling 1800 960 711 (between 8am-6.30pm ACST Monday-Friday except on public holidays. Interpreter service available).
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