The Aged Care Royal Commission Report uncovered multiple incidents of inadequate care in areas such as food, medication administration, and skin care – as well as sophisticated care such as chronic condition management and dementia care.
Several residential care institutions serve low-quality, unappealing food. They sometimes neglect to assist elders in eating and drinking, resulting in dehydration and malnutrition.
68 per cent of inhabitants are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition, according to research.
Witnesses tell of how a lack of prevention and poor treatment of pressure injuries and wounds resulted in serious health problems.
Over half of all aged care patients have dementia, but many aged care providers lack the skills needed to offer competent care.
It is tempting to blame aged care workers for poor service, but in reality, the vast majority of workers strive to meet residents’ expectations. Many of them enjoy what they do and are happiest when their patients smile or applaud their efforts.
However, aged care workers face multiple issues, which were highlighted in the Aged Care Royal Commission report.
A lack of training, low pay scales, and an overload of paperwork limit their ability to closely monitor residents or spend quality time with them.
As seniors age, illnesses like hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are common and require close monitoring and treatment.
Mobility and gait deteriorate which increases the risk of falls. Falling in seniors can cause broken bones and brain injuries. Falls not detected in time can lead to hypothermia and even death.
However, the majority of carers lack the necessary skills to provide such specialized services. This places the onus of care on senior personnel, who frequently find themselves working long hours.
Failure to meet residents’ expectations frequently demoralizes aged care workers and causes them to lose confidence. Demanding shift schedules, a significant salary disparity compared to workers in other fields of acute care, and a lack of professional advancement drive many aged care workers to seek employment elsewhere.
While structured training, redesigning shift schedules to relieve caregiver burdens, and increased government funding can address skill gaps and alleviate problems with remuneration, there are also other solutions.
Improved use of technology can assist aged care workers in being more efficient and providing higher levels of care.
In fact, one of the recommendations for increasing the quality of care in the Aged Care Royal Commission Report is to use assistive technology.
One such piece of technology is called the eazense.
The eazense is a radar sensor that passively monitors residents without requiring them to wear or do anything and instantly detects and notifies caregivers in case of falls (including low-impact falls) – allowing them to attend immediately.
It detects records and logs activity in a room without using cameras and alerts carers in case of gait anomalies or falls.
The eazense can also help with fall prevention, another key focus of The Aged Care Royal Commission, as analysis of past movement records can help to predict and prevent future falls.
As mortality rates decrease and people live well into their golden years, it becomes more challenging for aged care workers to cater to seniors’ increased care needs.
Assistive technology such as the eazense provides benefits that conventional human resources with limited technology at their disposal cannot.
It gives residents security while preserving their independence and privacy. For caregivers, it reduces the number of unnecessary visits, allowing them to provide care when it is most needed.