80-year-old Luigi Cantali suffers from dementia, blindness and depression.
His daughter moved him to an aged care facility expecting they would offer him the specialized care he needed.
Caregivers left him lying in bed all day with soiled clothing and leaking incontinence pads.
While such behaviour is unacceptable, aged care facilities must overcome three barriers in order to meet residents’ expectations and achieve aged care compliance standards.
Migrant workers make up 30 per cent of the workforce in the aged care industry. Because of the pandemic, visa and border restrictions have slowed the entry of these workers into the country, resulting in a significant worker shortage.
Attrition is another reason for the shortage. Many workers are dissatisfied with their jobs because of low compensation, a lack of training, and never-ending administrative responsibilities.
According to the McCrindle survey, in 1970, there were 15 workers for every couple of retirement age. This number reduced to 10, in 2010 and is expected to decline to 5, by 2050.
Remote areas find it hard to attract talent
Registered nurses and certified caregivers often avoid working in rural areas because of the outdated technology, lack of training and inadequate infrastructure.
Residential facilities need to reinvent themselves
A few years ago, people considered aged care homes as places of independent living where caregivers washed, bathed and groomed residents.
That’s not the case anymore.
Australians are living a lot longer and seniors demand greater medical care and attention.
With the average age of seniors increasing (now 80 up from 55, 20 years ago), illnesses such as dementia, hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are common and require constant monitoring and treatment.
As elders age, their mobility and gait deteriorate, increasing their risk of falling. Falls in the elderly can result in fractured bones and brain injuries.
Falls not detected in time could lead to dehydration, hypothermia, a loss of confidence and psychological issues.
With the Government holding aged care agencies accountable for aged care quality standards and introducing aged care compliance ratings, residential care facilities need to ensure they provide the highest levels of care support.
However, the majority of caregivers lack the training to provide specialized care. This increases the burden on senior staff, limiting their ability to offer timely care support to all residents who require it.
Standardized training and imposing minimum staff-to-patient ratios could improve the situation, but doing so could increase Federal Government funding from its already hefty $18 billion.
Residential facilities need a solution that can help them provide high-quality aged care support when it is most needed, without driving up healthcare costs. The answer lies in technology such as the eazense.
The eazense is an aged care support device that uses radar sensing technology to detect falls in real-time without using cameras and without requiring the person to wear or do anything differently.
Facilities that use the eazense report fewer staff hours spent resolving false alarms from sensor mats or other traditional falls detection devices, freeing up staff workload for other activities.
Installed in the corner of a room, it monitors movement patterns for multiple people as well as falls, alerting caregivers when help is needed.
Using radar rather than cameras means that it helps to protect privacy and dignity.
The eazense helps residential facilities meet aged care quality standards and fulfil aged care compliance requirements by ensuring fast action when a fall takes place, as well as logging the data for compliance. Analysis of the data can help with fall prevention as past data can help to predict and prevent future falls.