More than 2000 aged care worker reports have revealed the often difficult reality of life in aged care facilities across the nation.
Using an innovative new whistleblower reporting tool, workers have exposed what they say is the daily understaffing and safety risks facing older Australians.
Thousands more aged care workers are expected to use the Aged Care Watch reporting tool – available at agedcarewatch.org.au – after its official launch today (Friday, September 3).
Families, friends and aged care residents themselves are also able to use Aged Care Watch to report issues as they arise in aged care facilities in real time.
Workers have included harrowing stories about the impact of inadequate staffing in residential aged care, including older Australians left in distress, unattended and experiencing serious injuries from falls and being left soiled and unattended for extended periods.
Aged care workers are also routinely reporting being unable to complete their work, missing breaks, and suffering injuries and abuse on the job due to understaffing problems.
Reports from across Australia show an aged care sector getting even worse since the aged care royal commission was called more than two-and-a-half years ago, amid staff cuts and continuing Covid-19 fall out.
United Workers Union aged care director, Carolyn Smith, said aged care workers are saying they have had enough, and they are no longer going to keep the lid on the failures in aged care.
“They are exposing the dirty secrets of aged care, and it’s not a pretty picture,” Smith said.
“Aged care workers are telling the public about the terrible conditions they face on a daily basis as they campaign to change aged care – and politicians need to take notice.”
Established in Australia by United Workers Union, Aged Care Watch uses a simple online form, where the nature of the incident is reported.
The report is then recorded and, after vetting, made publicly available on a map, giving details of the facility, the location and brief details of the issue.