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by Not_Batman
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Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers)

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by tj81
14 hours ago

Topic: Nursing Home Residents Mental Health

  1. Dniaiu
    Dniaiu avatar
    22 posts
    27 February 2018 in reply to kanga_brumby

    I learned not to trust the management of the nursing home where my parents were, and feel very sorry for any resident that doesn't have an active, involved advocate who is willing to get in a scrap with management.

    I won most of the fights on dad's behalf, apart from them making him take tools out of the men's shed, and having it stand empty until he died.

    If you want to know the sort of thing that happened there, and made the news, google "genital friday club"...

    1 person found this helpful
  2. kanga_brumby
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    28 February 2018

    The past few months I have had on going issues wit a resident where I am staying. To the point where I get little to no sleep at all. As a result I tried to organize occasionally getting out sleeping in the apartment I am renting and still paying rent on. So I can get a few nights sleep. No dice they wont let me unless someone is going to be there holding my poor little hand.

    The first question is when was the last time I fell down and could not get up unaided............. 63 + years ago there is a big hint to my age to those who have known me in here for a bit. I have even asked to have my own doctor here to see me. He has to jump through all of their hoops in order to see me. Like he is part of a surgery where he has to jump through theirs. Now the nursing home as well. The way it is being worded even If I do get my NDIS funding and get in home care these people might make it hard to leave. Yet a mental health worker has said this is the worst place to have me. It's really now starting to do my head in big time. I dont see my Kids because they don't like the residents. Both of my kids have been My life from when they were born the last one and a half years has almost driven me to drink because "no kids". That alone is doing my head in.

    Sorry Paul I am on a rant in your post at least it's on topic. I better Take A break .

    For now SAFE Kanga. Peace love mung beans!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  3. blondguy
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    28 February 2018 in reply to kanga_brumby

    Hi Kanga......and anyone else doing it hard in a nursing home too...please post and say hello

    You never have to apologise in any way and you never rant either. It good to have someone that has a care factor for the people that are doing in tough in nursing homes and thankyou

    My best always Kanga

    Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  4. kanga_brumby
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    4 March 2018 in reply to blondguy
    In the past few weeks age care has been all over the news here in Melbourne.
    It doesn’t seem to be a money thing people who can afford to pay the big bucks are paying through the nose for a service not much better than what the poor man is paying for. The only real difference seems to be the condition of the buildings and the maintenance schedules. Plus paint job.
    If I had my way the people running these places should be paid more for better service by the government. Which should flow on to the staff. I have found if you only pay peanuts you get monkeys working for you. Creating mischief wherever they go. Those monkeys are different breads of monkey you can see the different types, some are white some yellow some black. Mixed in there somewhere are some really great workers all of different nationalities. You never know which one you will get till the last second. I have experienced neglect I have seen border line abuse. I would not keep a dog in a place like this. Criminals get it better than our elderly So what was their crime Last time I checked Growing old wasn’t a crime or has the law changed without us being told?
    Kanga
  5. kanga_brumby
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    8 March 2018 in reply to kanga_brumby

    Om Mar ok who's been talking out of school going out to the age care onbundsman and telling stories put your hand yup high for the world to see go on higher than that come on above the fence higher than that ( Can you see the hand up high) there Paul it's mine me the last few days have pushed me over the edge not changing my bed not organizing a shower medications up the spout food I would not even feed to an animal yet I am expected to just sit back and take it. But it's no nay never no nay never no more buddy the line is now drawn in the sand no retreat no surrender. Two people enter none leave tough love.

    Kanga

  6. kanga_brumby
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    9 March 2018

    Oh boy I'm getting sick of this Complain to all and sundry here about not getting medications nothing gets done. Complain to mental health people working with me they do nothing. It's not our area of experts dont get a shower for days bed not changed for days at a time yet its been pissed in. If I was doing things like that out of here They would threaten to have me put into a mental home till I started behaving right. But because I am in a old age home it does not matter its not their responsibility i's the nursing homes responsibility and I cannot go home till I get attendant carers t clean my home. And its my problem . Funny that when I was at home alone I showered daily medication at the right time and day. Bed at a reasonable hour bill all paid on time or within a reasonable time frame. food as required rubbish thrown out. but I now have to stay here. mental health getting shot to shit from all angles.

    Kanga in the pit again

  7. blondguy
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    9 March 2018 in reply to kanga_brumby

    Hey Kanga

    Thankyou for your huge support as usual

    I do hear you loud and clear....My big brother was in Larundel psychiatric hospital for paranoid schizophrenia and he had no avenue to speak was on his mind.

    Have you been threatened with being placed into a psychiatric care facility? I hope not. Even a psychiatrist cant make a threat like that Kanga

    Thankyou for keeping nursing homes and mental health an important and undervalued topic going

    You are not complaining Kanga....You are making your thoughts felt and last time I checked you are more than entitled to do so to!

    Im sorry that you are in the pit again Kanga...I hope you can get out of it...you deserve some peace in your life

    Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  8. kanga_brumby
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    12 March 2018 in reply to blondguy

    Paul hate to say it but the threat of a psychiatric care facility has been put out there. But not followed up on. Because the issue I was presenting to people was proven to be a real one not a product of an over active imagination. But the real crusher is my family. Whenever called upon to assist on a problem I have dropped every thing else to help family. yet in the last two years none of that has come back. From any of them except one of them. They have been there several times when needed, over the years. But the rest have taken to the hills every time. I have chosen to forgive them not holding a grudge. But God gave me a gift of my family, and he gave them a gift in me so if you don't look after the gift you lose it you don't get a replacement one. so look after your family.

    Kanga

  9. blondguy
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    13 March 2018 in reply to kanga_brumby

    Hello Kanga

    There is no doubt about the TLC you have for your family and thankyou for posting this invaluable advice too;

    "God gave me a gift of my family, and he gave them a gift in me so if youdon't look after the gift you lose it you don't get a replacement one, so look after your family"

    Im really sorry Kanga that the threat you had was real...even though it wasnt acted upon

    Thankyou again for being a strong voice where this 'silent' topic is concerned

    Always great to have you as part of the forum family Peter

    My kindest always

    Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Sleepless1987
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    30 posts
    22 March 2018
    I resigned from my job in aged care last year, it was tearing my soul apart. I feel horribly guilt at times, especially as nothing has changed at the home I worked at. My mental health required I leave. I was back last week for a agency shift, and I horrified that things had actually gotten worse. The care had deteriorated and the staff told me terrible stories of incidents that had occurred. I felt as if I had neglected my duty and was partially responsible because I had left. I also see terrible incidents of neglect and abuse coming into hospitals where I'm working. I wish I could do something to change things, I feel so helpless at times, it makes me feel so angry and broken. What can I do
  11. blondguy
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    23 March 2018 in reply to Sleepless1987

    Hi Sleepless1987

    Good to see you again and thankyou for speaking from the heart on this important matter.

    I dont understand as I have never worked in your job..... but I feel the empathy you have for the people in nursing homes

    I am confused after writing this thread as the 'care factor' just doesnt seem to be there. You have it but is society pushing these patients away where we cant see them?

    Your input is highly valuable as we should be made aware of the reality where people's mental health in nursing homes is concerned......and any other shortcomings the system has too

    I felt really sad reading your post Sleepless but I think people should be made aware of whats happening

    Thankyou for being a part of the forum family

    Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  12. kanga_brumby
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    24 March 2018 in reply to Sleepless1987

    Sleepless I have worked voluntary in an institute for the differently able. People with cerebral palsy and similar. I saw things back then and spoke out and left with no guilt. Because it was no me that had a guilty consonance I did no wrong. Years later different people doing the job, different people doing the same abuse same person reporting. What has changed no one has been saved but my consonance is clear. It's the old Boy Scout code Apon my honer I promise to do my best to do my duty before god and the Queen and up hold the scout law. I know I did my best for the people there So I can sleep well.

    Kanga

  13. Sleepless1987
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    30 posts
    24 March 2018 in reply to blondguy
    Hi Paul, unfortunately it's not just me. We have increased work loads, and less and less staff, as the registered nurse I was expected to look after over 100 residents. There were between 4-14 staff depending on the time of day. We just don't have the time, staff or resources to care at the level people deserve. So many nurses and carers in nursing homes have major anxiety and depression. Our management only seemed to care about making money, you also have those who see aged care as easy work and do the absolute minimum required, the don't care about the residents, this of course adds to the stress for those of us who do. Yes we pass accreditation because in the week before we clean, up staff levels, activities to ensure that we meet criteria then everything goes back to normal. I always would feel guilty if I was unable to complete all my tasks I set for myself, even if it was checking back with a resident. As a senior staff member I would take care of the staff under me before myself, and of course I was taken advantage of. Whenever I would bring up issues or concerns to management they would ignore it. People got hurt and then management would of course blame the staff for not telling them of the problem. I anonymously made a complaint to the aged care commission,after which we got a memo stating if anyone had problems they needed to talk first with management before reporting the home. I still believe that my future is in aged care, as I love it but I need to find a way to support my mental health while doing so. There is so little support not just for residents but also for carers and nurses. It really seems that aged care is a thing so few people care about, especially because it doesn't make money. It seems that irs an area everyone wants to ignore and push aside as unimportant. I got know what can be done to change the current system.
  14. blondguy
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    29 March 2018 in reply to Sleepless1987

    Hi Sleepless

    Im sorry for the delay in responding....I am usually pretty quick

    As a health professional you have not only seen what happens but are aware of the situation as it is now with aged care mental health.

    You mentioned "We just don't have the time, staff or resources to care at the level people deserve. So many nurses and carers in nursing homes have major anxiety and depression"

    This is not only disturbing but sad as aged care residents (and their qualified nurses) deserve more than this level of care

    If I can thank you for having the courage (and care factor) to make that anonymous complaint to the aged care commission.

    You are a legend for still having the strength and dedication to pursue a future in aged care Sleepless

    Thankyou for the TLC you provide to your patients and making us aware of what is really happening

    My kind thoughts for you and your huge heart . Look forward to speaking with you soon...I hope x

    Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  15. Quercus
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    25 September 2018 in reply to blondguy

    Hi Paul,

    You began this thread a long time ago to provide a space for us to speak out. It has been a painful thread to read but important.

    Perhaps now with aged care in the media and in the front of politicians minds someone will read it and do something!

    It is so dreadful to think that it took family members recording their loved ones being treated badly in nursing home care for anyone in a position of power to care.

    To any politician that happens to stumble on this thread...

    Please DO something.

    If you need proof that the system in place is faulty just take a look at the data on suicides in nursing homes. Or the rate of depression.

    To Sleepless....

    I hope the investigation into aged care helps ease the pain you feel. It isn't your fault. You are one person doing the best you can. Sometimes we do need help from people who have the ability and the power to make changes.

    To anyone reading...

    Please add your voice to Paul's thread. If you wish to share an experience of aged care or nursing homes or anything related please feel free to join in.

    The stories in the media about this currently are very distressing. If you need to talk about it this is a safe place too.

    Nat

    2 people found this helpful
  16. Just Sara
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    26 September 2018 in reply to Quercus

    I recorded a two part article from 4-Corners and watched it last night. It bought me to tears and disgusted me. The most disgusting thing of all is knowing these sorts of things have been occurring for decades and probably longer. Nothing has been learned except how to get away with it better than before.

    All the complaints shown were only a few of 4000 sent to the ABC (on request) for investigation by the 4 Corners team. It was well done, but lacking grit IMO.

    I would never have gone to a govt complaints commission if my father died due to neglect in a nursing home, I would've gone to the Coroners Office!!

    The court system? An absolute sham! 18 months home detention for video recorded 'extreme' physical assaults (10 counts!) on an 80 yr old woman in a walking frame and evidence it went back yrs, with several other patients as well. Bloody horrendous! Send her to prison!!!

    My opinion? Stop using useless self protecting govt systems and take things old school! When I was a kid, a gang of bikies were harassing young girls and causing fear among towns people. All the football teams got together and ran them out of town; they never came back.

    I'm not saying to do this, but it's time people remembered that sometimes being nice isn't effective. Sometimes it's ok to let the veins in your forehead and your neck pop out. We might be socially adept as humans now, but protecting our young and infirmed is instinctive.

    That woman who got home detention would've been frightened to walk outside her door if it was my mother she did that to. The 40 or so list of family members I can roll off the top of my head would've made sure of that I can assure you.

    Sez (Angry as!)

    2 people found this helpful
  17. Elizabeth CP
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    26 September 2018 in reply to Just Sara

    I would like to share a different side to this issue. My mother went into a nursing home years ago after I'd cared for her for years. It was a lovely home where she made friends with both staff & residents & was happy living there for the last few years of her life. When she died it was a peaceful time with our family present knowing she had been well looked after till the end & we were made to feel welcome & comfortable visiting.

    Every person needing care deserves the same & everyone should be able to feel confident that if they or their loved ones need care they will be looked after properly. The current situation affects not only those in care but also the people who need care but are too frightened to go into care. My MIL remained at home long past the time it was safe to do so because her husband was so worried about the possible neglect or mistreatment she might experience in care. This led to a number of falls & other problems as well as affecting her mental health because friends couldn't visit. My FILs health was impacted severely because of the strain of caring for her & injuries he sustained trying to help her when she fell.

    Our society needs to ensure that everyone needing care due to age or disability has the care they need whether at home or on nursing homes. The important word is care which means your needs ,both physical & emotional , are met. It is hard enough coping with increasing age or disability without adding fear of being abused or neglected. We have made huge advances in medical science extending the lewngth of our lives but we need to make sure quality of life is improved for vulnerable people.

    2 people found this helpful
  18. Quercus
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    26 September 2018 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hi Sara and Elizabeth,

    Wow. Two heartfelt responses. Both understandable.

    I think Elizabeth you have hit on something so incredibly important to discuss with this...

    "everyone should be able to feel confident that if they or their loved ones need care they will be looked after properly.

    The current situation affects not only those in care but also the people who need care but are too frightened to go into care."

    Wow. Just wow.

    What an important point.

    The reality is we will all grow old. Most of us will need care at some point. This issues affects all of us. And it is scary to imagine being so vulnerable.

    The stories in the media may be the exceptions and not be the norm but they have such impact because they damage the trust we have.

    I don't think it is unreasonable to expect to be able to trust those caring for vulnerable people.

    So how do we build trust? Like Sara mentioned I expect that if abuse is reported that it is investigated and action is taken. What shook me personally was that it took someone to record their own family member for action to happen. THIS is what makes me fearful.

    I do agree with you Elizabeth that fear keeps people struggling rather than seeking help. That there are places out there that provide quality and caring service.

    I do wonder at times what the difference is in terms of the staffing numbers and pay rate is between good homes and those which desperately need better management. Does anyone know?

    1 person found this helpful
  19. Just Sara
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    27 September 2018 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Elizabeth - your views are particularly important as Nat also discusses. Fear of using the aged care system for loved ones shouldn't be an issue, but it is. These issues aren't new as I spoke of before. Nursing Home owners just know how to cover up stuff better. Thank goodness for technology!!

    Another shocker was finding out one of the Nursing Homes mentioned was part of a 'publicly owned' conglomerate; that means it floats on the stock market.

    One woman paid over $300,000 plus a % of her pension each fortnight for the right to live in a spectacularly beautiful environment, where she was treated like a rag doll by incompetent, cruel and stupid staff. She's at home now.

    How is it possible to make a huge profit while still trying to make the last days of people's lives comfortable? Why is that ok? The yanks made their health system an elite area of money making. Are politicians trying to make Australia like the US in this respect?

    Are there any share holders on the forum that might like to comment? Hmm? No takers?

    Profits before people as a priority has gone too far I'm afraid.

    We're leaving our lives in the hands of international money moguls that could be run by local structure. I'd be open to that conversation...

    I'm still angry...

    Sez

  20. Quercus
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    27 September 2018 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sara,

    Discussion of how nursing homes could be run better sounds like a helpful conversation to have to me.

    Elizabeth mentioned that good systems do exist. So I wonder what is it about them that works? How do they manage to function well and stay profitable enough to keep running?

    And most importantly in my mind... How can people who need care or their families find out which centres are trustworthy?

    Food for thought.

    Would love to hear input from everyone.

  21. geoff
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    27 September 2018 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sez and All, I'm sorry I missed the program because Sez, it would have made me cross as well, and I say this because my Mum was put in a nursing, ( a good one ????) because she couldn't walk, I might have mentioned this much earlier but I think it's worth repeating.

    She was put in by Dad who was having an affair with the next door neighbour, anyway, Mum's memory was spot on but after 12 years just before she passed away she couldn't talk, communicate in any way and bedridden, although she had a mild stroke.

    The lack of attention given to her was terrible, she was often soiled in her nappy, wore dirty clothes and it was heartbreaking to see her like this because she was always a proud Mum.

    Hopefully I can find the program somewhere.

    I also know of 2 men who were put into a nursing home and what they had to put up with was atrocious, 1 of them I was POA and had to give the nursing home $150,000, that didn't make any difference to how he was treated and it was pointless talking to the staff because they always changed shifts.

    I feel your pain Sez and very sorry.

    Geoff.

  22. kanga_brumby
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    27 September 2018 in reply to Quercus

    Paul when we raised these issues there where was no one now they may listen

    Kanga

    2 people found this helpful
  23. Lee lee 73
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    27 September 2018 in reply to Quercus

    Hi all,

    Great thread!

    I work in aged care. Thank goodness for Four Corners. It's about time someone disclosed the goings on in aged care. The physical abuse shown disgust me - I cringed and had to look away, nothing else surprised me though. I worked in a facility for a year and a half, in a hostel and the dementia ward. I reported a staff member on my very first day for being rough. I used to get into trouble for taking so long with the residents but I didn't care - I was there for them. It is such a rewarding job. It's the entire management and aged care system that is just so wrong in every way.

    I'd like to share how I got into aged care..

    I'd been in a particular psych ward numerous times for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 2 months. I wanted to give something back to say thank you, so I volunteered at that hospital in the aged care rehab ward. I did this once sometimes twice a week for 4yrs. I was working full time in the public service - my volunteer work was what I looked forward to the most. I was saddened to see so many elderly people unwell and alone. I too, knew what it was like to be unwell, in hospital and have no family friends. So I chucked in my public service job of 18yrs and changed careers to aged care. I wanted to (and still do) make a difference in their lives, let them know someone does care. Our older people deserve respect...….. in every way.

    One defining moment for me... I was giving a lady living with dementia her morning shower and whilst washing her hair I gave her a head massage - she started crying, I apologised to her and asked if I was hurting her - she held my hand and pulled me down to give me a hug. I started crying. Those living with dementia know the staff who care and definitely know those who don't.

    How do we know which is the best facility -I guess word of mouth is the only way and even then there is no guarantee. It obviously has to depend on the management of that facility - whether they want workers or carers.!! I was lucky to work with some great carers - for the most part.

    I currently do 'in home care' atm, but I'm looking to work in a facility again...it's even hard to find which is the 'caring' facility to work in. The whole aged care system is appalling to say the least...we need to somehow change it.....??????

    Thanks for reading.

    Lee

    2 people found this helpful
  24. Just Sara
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    27 September 2018 in reply to Lee lee 73

    Oh Lee Lee;

    You've bought me out of my angry funk...thankyou so much. :-)

    What an inspiring and beautiful person you are. If only employers could gauge people's hearts during the application process. You'd be on their fast tracked list for sure.

    I did aged care in a private hosp while training decades ago. Like you I was drawn to elderly residents who didn't have family and were doing it hard. I also got into trouble for taking too much time; worth every yelled word of it. :-D

    I guess there's 3 types of carers in my view.

    • 1 - the professional who's diligent, career driven and efficient. Smiles for effect with limited emotional responses, but good to have in your corner. Can be a rules freak, but that can be a blessing too. When frustrated they turn to training and policies for guidance.
    • 2 - the big hearted carer who takes delight seeing a resident smile. Takes time with personal care, respects and empathises in realistic terms. May be too emotionally connected so might need a reality check now and then.
    • 3 - the complainer who takes their frustrations out on residents. (who they de-humanise) No real empathy except when it's convenient and blames the system for their woes. It's all about them! These people are dangerous, not only to residents, but other staff members.

    Obviously there's combinations of the above, but you get my drift yeah?

    I don't know how many times I've wondered if staff I've worked with have personality disorders. It's a shame facilities feel forced to employ people who are barely trained or so young there's no life experience to count on.

    It starts at the top in my view. If profit motivates management decisions, then that's what you get. There needs to be more staff on heavy shifts and quality people you can count on in a pickle.

    Restructure key performance components to realistic terms/levels. A tick sheet doesn't reflect efficiency, it just means the staff member can write. If you're going to have them, train people how to use them for the best result re the resident, not the audit each month.

    Sigh, I'm tired. It's scary to think I'll be in one of those places one day.

    Sez

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Lee lee 73
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    27 September 2018 in reply to Just Sara

    Hi Sara,

    Yes, I agree with everything you said... employers employing the right staff - with hearts, that it all comes from the top - like most industries and the types of carers there are...and their 'personalities'.

    It's all about money....when will people realise it's peoples lives we are dealing with....It gets me so mad too Sara.

    I can honestly say the training at TAFE is superb. As soon as you work in the industry, you're quickly faced with it's harsh reality. They need to prepare/educate students on how to deal with it's reality. This will give carers more confidence to do the right thing.

    Ahhhhhhh……..we could go on and on hey Sara....

    Lee

    2 people found this helpful
  26. Just Sara
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    27 September 2018 in reply to Lee lee 73

    Yes Lee, we could go on all day. What a shame it's not about the positives eh.

    People like yourself need to be in management; at the top. It trickles down...

    Thankyou for your service...

    Sez

  27. Elizabeth CP
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    27 September 2018 in reply to Just Sara

    Yes money is a huge problem. When private business is in charge their motive is making money which is fine if you are in manufacturing or something like that. Unfortunately making a profit in aged care, health care or disability care means cutting down on staff or resources leaving the people needing care worse off. Even if the government increases funding what guarantees the money is spent to help those needing care rather than lining the owners/shareholders pockets.

    I also agree that good management is key. I remember meeting the manager of the nursing home my mum was in. It didn't take long to realise why things were so well run. He showed such appreciation for his staff because they worked so hard to care for the residents. His respect & caring attitude permeated throughout the organisation. Unfortunately the same applies with bad managers who try to cut costs Only staff willing to work under those conditions will stay leaving the residents uncared for!!!

    2 people found this helpful
  28. blondguy
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    28 September 2018 in reply to Quercus

    Hello Everyone and thankyou Quercus for the initiative and bumping up this thread so we can all try to stop the stigma...

    Hi ElizabethCP Sara Geoff and Kanga for your invaluable input and knowledge on this topic

    Lee Lee '73....Its really great to have you as part of the Beyond Blue Forum family :-) Your helpful input as an aged health care professional is very welcome. Sleepless1987 is also involved in aged health care as well.

    70% of the 'hits' to the Beyond Blue Forums are readers only...the rest are the members (us)..... if we can make even a tiny difference to improve nursing home mental health we are moving mountains...seriously

    Thankyou so much everyone for your great input and being part of this discussion :-)

    Here is the copy & paste link that inspired this thread topic just FYI....

    www.smh.com.au/healthcare/nursing-homes-story-headline-20161228-gtiqc6.html

    have a great weekend everyone :-)

    Paul

    4 people found this helpful

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