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From our CEO: The Royal Commission & the Purpose of Aged Care

How did you feel when the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was released? After such a long time coming, and so much distress expressed, perhaps it was a relief? Whilst the future remains unknown, it was encouraging to see the importance of a meaningful life acknowledged. Indeed, the Commissioners have stated that the purpose of the aged care system, should, amongst other things, assist older people to live a meaningful life.

Why wait for the government to act before we embrace this idea? We could argue that any other kind of aged care, especially when engaged in long-term support of people who depend on their services, is unethical. We know aged care services struggle with the limitations of funding and resourcing for proper training. Another upside of the Royal Commission is the acknowledgement of these gaps. We also know there are thousands of people with a great passion to make a meaningful difference to the lives of others. Let’s bring that passion to the fore, don’t wait for government.

If you are already strong in this space, ask ‘What else could we be doing?’ If it’s a new idea for you, don’t shy away. By our very nature, humans are meaning-making. Perhaps begin with the Map of Meaning question if you don’t know where to start. Ask your team, ‘What’s been most meaningful for you in the last week?’ Then take these observations to the Map and see what you learn. You can watch me talk about some initial responses to the Royal Commission report at our National Community of Practice meeting here.

Finally, we are cheering you on as you roll out the COVID-19 vaccine in your locations. If you have team members who aren’t certain about whether to participate, share our special guest article from Will Cairns, below, who provides a wonderful perspective as a self-confessed ‘older person’ and palliative care expert.

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Read the full issue here.

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