As our communities age, the population grows, and hospital beds become more scarce, aged care facilities and hospitals continue to struggle. So much so that a new virtual consult screening system for unwell aged care residents was rolled out across Perth’s northern and eastern suburbs in March in an attempt to avoid unnecessary Emergency Department presentations this winter.
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s final report found the availability of aged care in outer regional and remote areas was significantly lower than in major cities, and had declined in recent years.
These struggles are felt both regionally and in metropolitan areas.
The declining situation in Geraldton follows the announcement that Perth aged care provider, Brightwater, will close three of its 12 residential facilities in the next year as it struggles to meet the requirements due to a lack of staff.
A Department of Health and Aged Care Spokesperson also told The West Australian that the WA Department of Health is partnering with the Government and the aged care sector to trial a scheme to help fix the problem by “paying residential aged care providers one-off payments for delivering residential respite to patients who are waiting in hospital beds for a permanent aged care place”.
Do you live in a regional town experiencing limited residential aged care availability? Let us know in the comments below.