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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Hundreds of thousands sign online petition pleading for mandatory staff to resident ratios in aged care facilities

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Aged care advocates, sick of waiting for much needed staff ratios to be implemented, have launched a Change.org petition to put pressure on the Federal Government.

The campaign, ‘Mandate skilled aged care staff to resident ratios. Stop the neglect.’, has garnered more than 375,000 signatures at time of writing, edging close to its first goal of 500,000.

Jane Seaholme, aged care advocate and leader of the petition, hopes that this will send a clear message to Scott Morrison and cabinet.

“Scott Morrison, if you really care about elderly Australians mandate staff/resident ratios for all aged care facilities across Australia, to protect our elders, to keep them safe, respected and valued,” Seaholme said.

Her campaign is inspired by her own mother’s experience at the hand of of a negligent aged care facility.

Living with dementia, Seaholme says her Mum feared complaining about sub-par conditions “because she’d be told off like a child and once was slapped by a staff member”.

“Many of the elderly and their families won’t complain for fear of retribution.

“This is when I realised the lack of staff ratios was a huge problem. 

“With no mandated staff / resident ratios in aged care facilities across Australia, our elders are at risk of abuse and neglect.”

Despite the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, under-staffing continues to be a persistent issue facing nursing and personal care staff on a daily basis.

The royal commission found, when bench-marked against international standards, Australian staffing levels were rated as ‘minimum’, sorely lacking in comparison to comparable economies.

The Department of Health has been contacted for comment.

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