Ray Glickman welcomes the return of Aged Care to Health with the combined portfolios going to Minister Sussan Ley.
“I'm very happy to see that a Minister for Aged Care has been appointed, a promising response to lobbying by our sector,” said Amana Living CEO Ray Glickman.
“It is also encouraging to see the return of aged care to health, which is a great opportunity to more effectively integrate services.
“This approach is reflected in the creation of our own Health Care portfolio earlier this year, which focuses on the gap between aged and health care, specifically within dementia, transition and restorative services. I look forward to hearing more from Minister Ley and Assistant Minister Wyatt in due course.”
Mr Glickman welcomed the appointment of Assistant Minister Wyatt to the aged care portfolio, noting his reputation in WA as a champion of the interests of older people.
Issues Mr Glickman would particularly like the new Minister to address are:
Eradicate the fragmentation between the health and aged care systems
Presently each tier of government looks after its own financial interest, but not that of government as a whole and therefore of taxpayers as a whole. The short electoral cycle also works strongly against the adoption of longer-term preventative strategies.
“Only by eradicating this fragmentation and taking a longer view can we hope to address the escalating health costs resulting from our ageing population.”
Make prevention of hospitalisation a top priority for older people
The increasing acuity of residents’ needs in care facilities means that they are operating with a high level of clinical capability. The aged care sector is therefore perfectly placed to support the health system by preventing hospitalisation.
“We have the expertise. We can keep older people out of hospital.”
Amana Living has recently entered into the transition care business. This program, designed to help older people to achieve their highest level of independence after a stay in hospital, makes aged care even better placed to bridge the gap to health.
Ensure funding is linked to the real cost of care
The Government needs to make a contribution to aged care based on the real cost of care.
Current arrangements that mean the Government invests about five times more on temporary hospitalisation and 50% more on transition care beds than on supporting older people in permanent residential care.
How Amana Living is bridging the gap between aged care and health
“Amana Living is committed to continually improving the care and services it delivers – and even to investigate whole new paradigms in health care,” said Amana Living General Manager Health Care, Tim Nayton.
In recent years, Amana Living has grown its team of highly skilled clinicians and experts in dementia, restorative care, clinical services and lifestyle. In February, they were brought together under the new Health Care portfolio.
There are currently 32,000 people living with dementia in WA, and this is set to increase by 14 per cent over the next five years and double by 2050. At the same time, the oldest of the large baby boomer population is now approaching their 70s. The result is an increasing pressure on clinical services.
Amana Living has anticipated this trend by growing its clinical team and investing heavily in vital, innovative programs that better support older people and help to prevent deterioration of their physical and mental health.
This includes the introduction of:
- transition care, creating a platform to develop restorative care across the organisation and to be more proactive in the space between hospital and home;
- ‘dementia hubs’, with more services for those living with dementia and their carers; and
- a new ‘lifestyle program’ in residential care facilities, which looks more closely at the activities that will help each individual to be more fulfilled.