Welcome to the home care in the news update, where the latest news on home care is collated for your reading!
This week features:
The unstoppable domestic workers’ movement: winning labour rights and protections for 15 million domestic workers
"In the past few years a political and moral shift has occurred among growing numbers of political leaders which has secured rights and protections for 15 million domestic workers today. Their lives have improved by shifting away from unprotected and exploitative jobs to ones protected by labour laws."
Government changes tack on CHSP fees policy
"The Federal Government has shelved plans to introduce a mandatory national fees policy for the new Commonwealth Home Support Program from 1 July and instead will introduce a principles-based fees framework."
Home Care Workers' Lawsuit Alleging Wage Theft Exposes Growing Industry's Troubling Pay Practices
"Ann Temple has worked as a home care aide in Washington for more than six years. Five days and 40 hours a week, she attends to her elderly client, preparing breakfast and baths, cleaning the house, scheduling doctors’ appointments and picking up medicine."
Warning 'cut-price' care system on the brink of 'collapse'
"Britain is facing a "crisis" in the care system and workers have warned of a possible "collapse", a union has warned.
A dossier drawn up by Unison revealed illegally low pay rates, widespread use of zero-hours contracts, poor training standards and "damaging consequences" of privatisation."
Making home health work more attractive
"People working in one of the fastest-growing professions in America aren’t well-paid. Many of them don’t get health or retirement benefits. And federal minimum wage and overtime protections still don’t apply to them."
Calls mount for urgent focus on rural and remote viability
"The recent financial analysis of residential aged care operators has been welcomed by industry for its accuracy, and despite some surprising but favourable findings regarding regional providers, experts and industry have stressed the urgent attention needed for the rural and remote part of the sector."
Council aims to raise home care standards with new providers list (from the UK)
"People who require home care support will hopefully see standards rise due to a new agreement between the council and providers."
Cash to consumers: what we can learn from overseas
"As Australia moves towards more individualised funding approaches in home care,Community Care Review looks at the implementation of personal budgets overseas for some valuable lessons."
WHEEL-I-AM makes his telepresence felt at Feros Care
"Residential and community aged care provider Feros Care is trialling the use of a telepresence robot nicknamed Wheel-I-Am for remote-controlled video consultations with GPs and specialists."
Aged pension and super reform must be a priority for Liberals and Labor
"Anyone who thinks retirement policy settings in this country don’t need major reform is kidding themselves. Unfortunately the main parties have polarised the debate, with Labor willing to countenance changes only to superannuation, and the government willing to look only at the aged pension, and even then in a limited way."
Last-minute review offers hope for seniors on Federal Government in-home care packages
"Seniors set to lose out when their federally funded in-home care schemes are changed in July have received a last-minute reprieve."
Unqualified to miss out on care and support jobs bonanza
"Tech-savvy all-rounders willing to learn and lead will be the major beneficiaries of a predicted boom in care and support jobs. But those with no qualifications will find it increasingly difficult to secure employment."
Special report: Home care package levels missing their mark
"Community care providers are struggling to fill their Level 1 home care packages while managing waiting lists in the hundreds for their high level packages, an analysis by Community Care Review shows."
Budget: Workforce hit with fund cut, tax change
"If the government is serious about providing quality aged care for the growing number of older Australians it would immediately act to fix the worsening workforce shortage in the sector,” she said."
Budget: ACAR to end in move to market system in home care
"The Aged Care Approvals Round for home care packages will be abolished with funding to be allocated directly to consumers rather than providers from February 2017, the Federal Government announced in Tuesday’s Budget, paving the way for a significant shake-up of the home care sector."
Australia not equipped to deal with growing 'tsunami' of dementia cases, advocates warn
"Australian workplaces are not equipped to deal with the growing numbers of employees with dementia despite an ageing population and a possible "tsunami" of future cases, advocates have warned."
Thousands of seniors on nationally funded at-home care packages to be forced to pay more or move into nursing homes
"Seniors on Federal Government in-home care plans have been told they will have to pay more or consider moving into nursing homes if their services are cut when they are forced on to new packages in July."
What the Battle Over Home Health Care Worker Pay Is Really About (from the US)
"People who need long term services and supports overwhelmingly want to live at home. While family members are the bedrock of home-based care, many frail elders or younger people with disabilities also need help from paid, direct-care workers. They cannot live at home without them."
Work placement hours mandated in proposed new training qualifications
"Registered training organisations delivering aged care qualifications will have to ensure their students complete mandatory work experience and face tighter assessment requirements under changes due to be signed off by the Department of Education and Training by June."
Aged-care workers satisfied with jobs, not with wages - survey (from New Zealand)
"Most of New Zealand's 57,000 aged-care workers are satisfied with their jobs but not with their wages, a new survey has found."
New call for affordable housing for seniors
"With Australia’s aged care and pension systems essentially predicated on the assumption that seniors own their own home, the increase in the numbers of older people renting or still paying a mortgage will lead to growth in old age poverty unless a national housing policy is developed."
Budget wishes: consumers, professionals cite reform and workforce
"Helen Gibbons, assistant national secretary of United Voice, said the government needed to recognise there was a “looming workforce crisis in aged care” which if ignored would have devastating consequences for seniors."
Inadequate homecare training putting elderly and disabled at risk (from the UK)
"The safety of elderly and disabled people who rely on homecare is being put at risk because staff are receiving inadequate training, according to a UNISON study published today."
Older women prop up aged care (from New Zealand)
"The country's aged care workers are mostly older women who feel over-worked and underpaid, a survey has found.
The AUT University survey, the first independent survey of aged-care workers, has found that almost half of rest-home caregivers and more than three-quarters of homecare workers supporting the elderly are themselves aged 50 or over."
Concerns growing over dramatic changes in home care set to hit thousands of pensioners, seniors
"A significant shake-up of government funded stay-at-home care schemes for the elderly is set to hit thousands of pensioners and seniors across the country on July 1.
All 72,000 people receiving care under Home Care Packages (HCP) will be switched to a new model, Consumer Directed Care (CDC), in a dramatic shift that has divided recipients and peak bodies."
Why the home care wage fight matters (from the US)
"Over the next decade, a million women -- most likely black or Latina, almost certainly living in poverty -- will become home care workers. And on April 15, some of these women will take part in the largest mobilization of underpaid workers this country has ever seen, to call for wages that will allow them to finally support themselves and their families."
Home care being 'short changed' (from the UK)
"Just one in seven councils in the UK is paying a 'fair' price for home care for the elderly, according to a survey.
About 500,000 people rely on the support, which includes help with washing and dressing."
Greenwich secures zero tolerance for Discrimination in Home-Based Care Services
"Greenwich sought assurances from Ajaka that a similar commitment would apply to Home Care services and that it should be a criteria in expressions of interest.
Ajaka has now confirmed via letter that discrimination will not be tolerated."
Aged-care job estimates ‘don’t take change into account'.
"Estimates of the number of workers needed in the aged-care sector over the next decade are “seriously flawed” and do not take into account a rapidly shifting model of delivering services, according to the peak community provider body."
Tanya Plibersek: “My dad had the right to die with dignity.”
"Like most Australians he wanted to die at home. Like most Australians he ended up dying in hospital. (While 74% say they want to die at home, only about 16% do.)
But he was able to stay home almost to the end, because of great home nursing and wonderful support from the hospice where he was going for treatment."
Karen Hitchcock: "On Caring for the Elderly"
"Ours is a society in which ageism, often disguised, threatens to turn the elderly into a “burden” – difficult, hopeless, expensive and homogenous. While we rightly seek to curb treatment when it is futile, harmful or against a patient’s wishes, this can sometimes lead to limits on care that suit the system rather than the person. Doctors may declare a situation hopeless when it may not be so.
We must plan for a future when more of us will be old, Hitchcock argues, with the aim of making that time better, not shorter. And we must change our institutions and society to meet the needs of an ageing population."
Read the full article here. Note: article is behind a paywall.
El Gibbs: "Defining disability: Will the NDIS support all disabled Australians who need care?"
"ADHC supports about 95,000 people and the state government plans to increase this to 140,000 when the full NDIS is implemented. However, this leaves some significant questions about broader disability services for people who are not eligible for the NDIS."
Carers NSW Media Release: "No carer should be worse off as NSW transitions to the NDIS"
"In the lead up to the NSW State Election, Carers NSW is calling upon candidates to commit to continuity and support for carers in NSW as we transition towards the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Services are currently undergoing massive upheaval to make way for the NDIS, which aims to give people with disability and their carers more choice and control. However in many cases, carers are losing out."