Why we are hopeful about the Aged Care Royal Commission

We are being asked for our thoughts constantly on the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety which begins hearing evidence this week in Adelaide. People are surprised when we tell them we are not only thrilled that some of the issues to be examined by the Commission have finally come to the fore, but we are excited that the findings of the Royal Commission will no doubt impose more carefully policed reporting and other obligations on health and aged care providers and result in increased scrutiny – as it should be. More importantly though, this Royal Commission should result in some constructive recommendations to providers based on the submissions made by organisations like ours who pride themselves on safe, innovative and inclusive service delivery.

At Reliant, we enjoyed the process of putting our response together. With a clean track record and a true commitment to safe, quality and consumer-directed care, we were able to reflect and feel proud of the way we do business and look after our valued clients. Providing a response has also allowed us to make some suggestions, based on experiences we have had in dealing with other organisations where we have seen examples of substandard care.

We are thrilled at the positive emphasis of the Royal Commission – actively seeking suggestions for change and improvement across the industry and asking providers to self-reflect and provide information on what they could have done better in the past and what they may need assistance with for the future to ensure they do not let down older Australians, a generally underrepresented and undervalued community.

No doubt there will be shocking revelations as the Commission takes evidence in the coming  months. The important thing to remember is that solid and reliable providers are out there, and hopefully the standard of care across the board will improve so that everyone can have experiences like those of our clients.

The Royal Commission is accepting public submissions, which can be submitted anonymously. We would encourage anyone who feels they can make a valuable contribution to consider making a submission. There is a link here, or please feel free to get in touch with us if we can help in any way.

A National Plan

At Reliant we see our role as central in ensuring that our elders live their best lives – with dignity and independence.

This week we were honoured to attend the 5th National Elder Abuse Conference in Sydney, along with leaders from government, academia, law, healthcare leaders and trailblazers. Although only the 5th time this conference has been held, attendance reached over 560 delegates and it is heartening that elder abuse in Australian society is increasingly gaining mainstream attention.

Also significant was that at the conference the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Christian Porter MP announced Australia’s first National Plan to address elder abuse (which was a key recommendation of the 2017 Australian Law Reform Commission Report Elder Abuse – a National Legal Response). Stimulating discussion and presentations from a range of speakers, from Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG to Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP made for a very thought-provoking 2-day conference. Our sincere thanks to the Seniors Rights Service for such a fantastic event.

We were proud to play a role in developing the final conference statement, an extract of which you can read below.

“Our call to action to all governments in Australia: there is no excuse not to act nationally NOW against Elder Abuse.

Come together to create and fully resource the strong, effective, nationally consistent and accountable change needed to:

  • Create respectful cultures that value older people within our diverse country and communities (a whole of community shift) to prevent an epidemic of abuse against older people
  • Deliver early intervention and empower older people
  • Support and safeguard those older persons experiencing abuse.

Involve older people and all the key stakeholders in developing the National Plan to address Elder Abuse to ensure all older people experience dignity, their rights and personal wellbeing as a daily way of life.”

LGBTI Ageing Health Outcome Strategy

Dr Justin Koonin, Alexandra Conroy, Kathryn Greiner, Auntie Millie Ingram at the launch of ACON's Ageing Health Outcomes Strategy  2017-2021
Dr Justin Koonin, Alexandra Conroy, Kathryn Greiner, Auntie Millie Ingram at the launch of ACON’s Ageing Health Outcomes Strategy 2017-2021

We were very proud to help launch ACON’s new Ageing Health Outcome Strategy 2017-2021 which outlines the health disparities, and needs, of older members of the LGBTI community. We were invited to share our experiences in catering for the needs of our older LGBTI clients. 

The Productivity Commission’s 2011 report, Caring for Older Australians, recommended an emphatic focus on consumer-directed choice in aged care, highlighting the need for the system to be overhauled so it could accommodate not only a significant increase in numbers, but also a more diverse range of seniors with a less homogenous set of requirements. The Ageing Strategy will seek to develop healthy ageing programs, including those to address social isolation, increase uptake of healthy ageing behaviours, and to support self-management skills and capacity for self-advocacy.

Reliant  provides truly consumer directed care and place huge emphasis on enabling people to live their lives as they choose and to facilitate that choice. We are proud of our commitment to encouraging clients to be themselves and of our service to our clients who are members of the LGBTI community.

Pride in Health + Wellbeing

Since day one, our mission at Reliant Healthcare has been to provide the highest standard in human care, not just health care. We are serious about enabling people to really live their best and healthiest lives in the setting of their choosing.

It’s certainly an ambitious goal, but we’re determined.

A task this monumental can only be achieved by working together, and that’s why we are so extremely proud to be a foundation member of Pride in Health + Wellbeing, a program which aims to raise the bar across the board when it comes to LGBTI inclusive health service provision. This is an important foundation which harnesses a group of passionate and empathetic businesses (and people, after all, that’s what we are made of!) focussed on redefining wellness and celebrating diversity in all its glorious forms.

We are all agents for change. At Reliant Healthcare we’re deeply committed to not just health, but overall happiness and believe that diversity, equality and inclusiveness are core pillars of our society. We believe in doing whatever we can, in whatever capacity we can, especially during such a challenging time for the LGBTI community.

Our LGBTI communities and individuals are extremely diverse and face a number of shared and distinct health and social inclusion issues. We also know that when LGBTI individuals require access to health and wellbeing services, they often hit more roadblocks, refrain from accessing critical services, and as a result, experience poorer health and wellbeing outcomes than their non-LGBTI peers. We want to change this.

Working with other industry leaders including Medibank, Lifeline and Flourish we are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of Australian LGBTI communities.

With that in mind, we would also like to share this guide, compiled by ACON, to assist other health services to support LGBTI clients during the protracted debate surrounding marriage equality.

Shake It Up Webinar

Shake It Up Australia Foundation

Once again, Reliant Healthcare is very proud to be sponsoring the second instalment of the Shake It Up Parkinson’s research webinar series.

Shake It Up is a non-profit organisation founded to promote and fund Parkinson’s research within Australia.

Being involved with foundations that produce innovative and current relevant information is part of our commitment to our clients, health personnel and community.

Register here for the opportunity to connect with two of Australia’s leading DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) specialists. Clyde Campbell, founding director of Shake It Up, will once again host the seminar. Discussions around the latest developments in DBS will feature Professor Peter Silburn AM and Associate Professor Terence Coyne.

If you are unable to tune in live, you can still register and you will be emailed a free recording.