Background Paper 6 from the Royal Commission has just been released and focuses on the difficulties faced by informal carers, including family and friends.
The paper states that the increased number of people staying home longer places a greater burden and reliance on informal carers who supplement the care given by formal home support services.
Many informal carers feel the need to provide care for loved ones because they are concerned about the quality of care provided by the formal care system.
National Seniors has received feedback from members who are uncomfortable placing their loved ones in care. As one person told us about their experience of respite:
“My husband was admitted for respite care. Next morning around 9.00am, I arrived to find him barefooted, still in his PJs, blue and shivering. The bed had sheets, pillow and a quilt cover, but no quilt and no blankets. He indicated that he had been very cold all night, and I surmised that he had not been showered, and no-one had checked to see him comfortable at any stage. It made me wonder if anyone had even given him his meds.”
The paper also concludes that a lack of cultural awareness and support may be a challenge for carers.
While the Royal Commission is accepting submissions in languages other than English - and will pay for all interpreting/translation costs, it is important that the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) community is first encouraged to participate.
The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) believes the best way for the Royal Commission to understand the issues faced by older people from CALD backgrounds is to hear about their personal experiences.
After wide consultation, FECCA has developed a tool kit to encourage people from CALD backgrounds to share their stories.
The toolkit includes prompts for conversations which explain:
- what the Royal Commission is and how it works
- why it is important that people from migrant/refugee backgrounds tell their stories
- the kinds of things people might want to tell the Royal Commission
- how to send their stories to the Royal Commission.