’Take me to the paddock and shoot me’
AGEING Australians make up a large percentage of the population, with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reporting that 3.8 million of Australians were over the age of 65 in 2017, comprising of 15 per cent of the total population.
Sadly, ageing Australians are often forgotten, resulting in poor treatment and living conditions, which is evident in the lack of resources afforded to the sector.
On a human level I believe the ageing and dying are uncomfortable reminders of our immortality and it's a lot easier to look away from those whose minds and bodies are failing them - placing them in the care of institutions who treat them as a job rather than valuable members of society.
Society generally has a negative view of ageing. How often do you hear someone say "if I even get that bad just take me out to a paddock and shoot me"?
We need to re-evaluate how we think about ageing - there is quality of life to be had.
The elderly form an important part of our country's identity, shaping the fabric of our society - the least we could do is care for them adequately, let alone to the degree that they deserve.
The care of elderly isn't just at risk in rural Queensland (even though issues are exasperated by staffing problems), but aged care facilities across Australia, as the Royal Commission continues to uncover cases of serious neglect across the country.
The Royal Commission into Age Care Quality and Safety will complete their report on November 12, 2020.
An interim report by the ACRC found that our "aged care system fails to meet the needs of its older, vulnerable, citizens. It does not deliver uniformly safe and quality care, is unkind and uncaring towards older people and, in too many instances, it neglects them". We need to do better.