19.2 C
Sydney
Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Unplanned weight loss increases in aged care despite $350m Govt supplement

Must read

Dietitians Australia is demanding more accountability from the aged care sector following the release of last week’s Residential Aged Care Quality Indicators – October to December 2021

With malnutrition affecting up to 50 per cent of people in aged care, the report shows significant unplanned weight loss has risen from 13,173 people in the quarter to June 2021, to 13,586 people in the quarter to December 2021. 

This is despite $350 million in Government Basic Daily Fee Supplements disbursed to residential aged care homes through this period.

Malnutrition is the silent killer attacking our parents and grandparents, and it’s our duty to ensure everything is being done to prevent the suffering of our older Australians

Dietitians Australia CEO, Robert Hunt

“Last week’s report is an indicator of the poor quality of care that our older Australians continue to receive,” CEO of Dietitians Australia, Robert Hunt, said.

“It’s evidence that the Government’s money will continue to be absorbed in supplementing profits by residential aged care homes unless urgent accountability measures are put in place.”

Dietitians Australia welcomed opposition leader Anthony Albanese’s $2.5 billion aged care plan announcement last week, but warns that this latest result is indication of how money will not fix the problem.

The organisation believes that mandatory malnutrition screening and annual menu and mealtime audits are key to ensuring the individual health needs of older Australians are being supported.

“Malnutrition is the silent killer attacking our parents and grandparents, and it’s our duty to ensure everything is being done to prevent the suffering of our older Australians,” Hunt said.

“Mandatory malnutrition screening and measures to improve the quality of meals served to people in aged care should be basic requirements throughout the sector. 

“There should be accountability through an annual menu and mealtime audit performed by a dietitian, not the current self-evaluation.”

In response to Albanese’s pledge to ensure 24/7 nursing care is mandated in the sector, Dietitians Australia also stands by the Australian College of Nursing who is advocating for the Government to support workforce solutions.

“Malnutrition increases the risk of falls, pressure injuries, hospital admissions and COVID-19 infections among other health risks and that burden currently falls on nursing staff,” Hunt said.

“Dietitians can play a critical role in the aged care workforce through preventive measures by ensuring the nutritional needs of people in aged care are met.”

- Advertisement -

Leave a Reply

Latest article

- Advertisement -
Processing...
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Email newsletter sign-up
ErrorHere