Submission to the Australian Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
This submission to the Aged Care Royal Commission has been a labour of love over many months, fuelled by my passion for quality of care and engagement with our elderly and my strong belief in the crucial role of Leisure and Lifestyle in residential aged care.
I offer my heartfelt thanks to the many staff who have given of their valuable time to talk with me and share their insights, during my journey into aged care. I sincerely hope, in advocating on your behalf, that I have done justice to the value of the work you do and the perceptions and understandings you have communicated to me.
In particular, I would like to express my wholehearted thanks to Ruth Wilson, Jade Gilchrist, Samantha Campbell, Carol Digna, Kim Bromley, and Linda Hoogenboom, for their guidance, professional contributions, feedback and edits. I also thank all those who allowed me to include their names and details in Part 5, as industry professionals who I feel could offer further clarification to the Commissioners.
My submission consists of five parts in which I present the case for Leisure and Lifestyle; discuss the need for change and offer a proven solution to implementing such change; outline the importance of music in aged care; and summarise my experiences and recommendations. Each of these areas are supported with anecdotes and case studies which serve to illustrate and explain my opinions and findings.
As I acknowledge in the paper, my expertise is limited to industry exposure through a focus on music in aged care, which is the passion that drives me to do what I do. With this in mind, I concede that a great deal of what I have written does not take into account the specialised needs of the most vulnerable in aged care homes; those who need Leisure and Lifestyle programmes specifically tailored to meet their needs, but this is an area that lies beyond my level of competence.
This submission aims to provide an accurate reflection of the way aged care works in Australia today, pointing to the definite need for culture change and outlining a solid solution for the successful implementation of such change. I trust I have provided an industry ‘road-map’, aimed at directing the Commissioners to a pragmatic view of aged care from the coalface.
Royal Commission reference number AWF.600.02204
The last paragraph in PART 3 of my submission is titled ‘LEISURE AND LIFESTYLE FOR THE BABY BOOMER GENERATION. I had much to write about on this topic, but to my delight, a greater mind than mine has covered this topic thoroughly.
Jade Gilchrist, Lifestyle Coordinator at Clifton Aged Care Facility, Queensland has produced a comprehensive paper titled, Impact of the Baby Boomers on Diversional therapy Practice (9th February 2019). Click on the link provided in the title of Jade’s paper to download a PDF copy of her paper.
Other material I reference at the beginning of PART 3 of my submission suporting the topic of the importance of music in residential care can be accessed here:
1. A research study on ‘THE IMPORTANCE OF MUSIC TO SENIORS’ conducted by the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown, Canada in 2002.
2. A survey conducted by the Australian Institution of Health and Welfare 2008 – 2012 titled ‘DEPRESSION IN RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE’ (Full publication; 27 September 2013)