Submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care
Painaustralia has made a submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Safety and Quality outlining 11 key recommendations to improve the lives of our older citizens.
With as many as 80 percent of aged care residents experiencing pain, a significant number are under-treated and are suffering unnecessarily (particularly those with dementia or other cognitive impairment). This could be avoided through appropriate workforce education and training alongside adequate regulatory reform of the accreditation and funding system.
It is encouraging to see the Royal Commission already publishing information and advice, with their background paper titled ‘Navigating the maze: an overview of Australia's current aged care system’ well worth a read, and their website is worth a bookmark.
Painaustralia recognises that leadership at a national level that prioritises a multidisciplinary, industry-wide approach will be essential to address these issues. It should include an Aged Care Safety and Quality Framework that supports quality of life. This will be achieved with best-practice pain management, along with appropriate education and training of staff (particularly in the identification of non-verbal signs of pain); appropriate funding that meets the needs of each aged care recipient; appropriate reporting policies and protocols; and education for aged and community care residents, their families and carers with sufficient capacity to self-manage their pain where appropriate.
We have a generational opportunity to create an aged care environment that affords dignity to the older and frail- some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
Painaustralia CEO, Carol Bennett has also written a blog on the topic; Aged Care and Pain: if you observe a change, consider pain.