The majority of Aussies have very little faith in the country’s aged care system with most claiming organisations lack empathy for ageing residents.
According to new national report Inside Aged Care by insights agency Faster Horses, only 18 per cent of Australians have trust in the industry compared to 13 per cent who think it is open and transparent.
On top of this, of the 1,701 people surveyed from across the country, only one-third agreed that aged care organisations show empathy, offer high service levels, and take the time to understand the individual needs of those in their care.
The study also revealed a whopping two out of three Australians believe the industry is under funded. This increases to three quarters for those aged over 60, and seven in 10 for those with a family member receiving aged care services.
With the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety announced in September this year, Faster Horses managing director Veronica Mayne said it’s important to highlight the many issues Aussies feel are impacting the health and safety of the elderly.
“At a time when Australia’s population is ageing, and successive governments have reduced aged care funding, we felt there was an urgent need to shed immediate light on the nation’s attitudes and perceptions towards the aged care industry and the critical issues that need immediate action amongst aged care providers and government agencies,” she explained.
Mayne said the data also highlights the context within which providers operate and the negative sentiment that they need to overcome. It also identifies the key factors motivating “consumers’ choice” when deciding upon an aged care provider, together with the associated emotional impact people face when moving into the aged care sector.
“We see a clear demand for organisations to adapt more quickly to a customer centric approach, improving service levels, empathy shown to individuals and flexibility in relation to customer needs,” Mayne said.
The latest research follows data compiled by Starts at 60, which revealed the major concerns Baby Boomers have when it comes to entering aged care.
An exclusive online poll found 13.7 per cent of readers are afraid of falling victim to abuse, neglect or malpractice at the hands of staff in aged care facilities.
The second biggest worry among readers was the increasing cost of services, with 9.3 per cent admitting they are concerned about being able to afford sufficient care when they need it. Many people also expressed their concern over the profit-geared focus of the industry.
Another major concern, claiming 6.7 per cent of the vote, was understaffing, with many readers telling us they were concerned about a lack of trained aged care workers, which could lead to patients having to go days without showering, or without having their incontinence pads changed regularly.