Traditional aged care is 'sad and morbid'

'It took its toll'. Working in a traditional aged care is both sad and morbid says carer

Aged Care Royal Commission
The royal commission will examine the concept of aged care facilities being like a home.

The royal commission will examine the concept of aged care facilities being like a home.

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'I felt many staff were there just for a wage. They didn't actually care,' carer tells aged care royal commission.

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WORKING in a traditional aged care is both sad and morbid, a carer says.

Lisa Jones now works at a "microtown" for the elderly, which resident Elsie Scott describes as light years ahead of traditional aged care facilities.

Ms Jones said she was ready to give up on aged care before becoming a house companion at NewDirection Care at Bellmere, north of Brisbane.

"I've worked in traditional aged care for many years and it took a toll on me as a person because it was really sad and quite morbid to go there," she told the aged care royal commission on Wednesday.

"I felt many staff were there just for a wage. They didn't actually care."

Ms Jones said some traditional facilities where she previously worked provided good care to residents, but a lot did not.

Ms Scott said aged care needed to focus on individual needs.

"The present residential aged care is not relative and not functioning," she told the inquiry's Cairns hearing via videolink from NewDirection Care at Bellmere.

The 89-year-old invited the two royal commissioners to visit.

"Here you will see an aged care facility that takes aged care into the 21st century and beyond."

Ms Scott lives with seven residents in one of 17 houses.

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There is a general store, hairdresser, craft centre, cafe, music studio and a wellness centre at Bellmere, described as a residential community for the elderly and those living with younger onset dementia and complex care needs.

The royal commission's Cairns hearing is wrapping up on Wednesday with a focus on quality of life issues.

It will hear from the general manager of aged care provider HammondCare, which aims to provide a home-like environment, as well as two nursing professionals who reject the concept of aged care facilities being like a home.

Australian Associated Press

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