ABC FOUR CORNERS PROGRAM
1 June 2009
Problems in Aged Care Similar in Disability
with, Prove the Point Game
Everyone on this program said they did not want to end up in aged care! The general view was, "When we have to depart this world, we want it to be quick!"
All the shocking points raised in this program apply equally to people with a disability living in supported accommodation group homes, especially those where governments are the direct service provider.
The care complaints for the aged is flawed said Professor Pearson of Adelaide University. This is similar to the care complaints process for people with a disability, it is also flawed.
The aged care commissioner, Ms Rhonda Parker was frequently overridden by the government department responsible for the service provider about which the complaint was made. Most investigations consisted of, "Investigating Paperwork". "The paperwork looks good, so the service is fine!"
With similar reactive, in-denial, inconsistent and crises driven services in disability services, many caring parents/families resort to the, "Prove the point game".
Prove the Point Game
Although those carers who provide the actual care and support directly, 24/7, do it really tough, those carers who monitor that provided by service providers can be really stressed to breaking point. Especially where their family member is in a government direct service, accommodation service, where management and staff have the accountability protection of a captive market public service.
Many families finally give up against these government departments and their incessant manoeuvring every which way to avoid transparency of process, the provision of services within the direction, intention and spirit of their care policies, standards and values, and the provision of consumer focused services. In general, the effective mission statement of these government departments to families is, Leave your family member with us, and go away!
Those families who hang-in against the departmental power over people game, find they are forced into a Prove the Point Game with the department. This is because the departments are self focused, not customer focused!
Prove the point game becomes necessary because, the departments with their captive market ability to manoeuvre every which way, families are forced to gather masses of very detailed support for the most very commonsense issues. They are frequently forced to follow laborious government due-process to prove a very simple commonsense point. This is often at the expense of their family members quality of life.
Where the family is, for example, complaining their family members quality of life is being compromised by an incompatible client in the same group home, the DHS will frequently except nothing less than their family member being seriously injured by the incompatible client before they will even consider the matter of the incompatible client reducing their family members quality of life.
Tony & Heather Tregale
LIFESTYLE IN SUPPORTED ACCOMMODATION (LISA) INC.