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A major report by National Seniors Australia has found most seniors receiving aged care at home think workers treat them with respect, met their personal care and support needs, and were well trained. 

However, about 50 per cent of people qualified their positive views by saying that better coordination between home care and health services was required, along with improvements to the Consumer Directed Care system.

The report, Accentuating the positive: consumer experiences of aged care at home, was commissioned by the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce. Report author, Nationals Seniors Australia Research Director Professor John McCallum, said it was important to listen to negative views to target areas for improvement.

“People complained about services being delivered at times or in ways that were inconvenient to the client; a lack of continuity of care for dementia patients; and poor training for dementia care,” Prof. McCallum said. “They also expressed frustration caused by Workplace Health and Safety constraints on cleaning, and poor cleaning services generally; waiting too long to be assessed, and having to accept a lower level package until a higher one became available; poor communication from providers; and poor administration of services generally.”

Prof. McCallum said another major concern was that more than 40 per cent of family members and others providing unpaid care said their health was affected by their caring duties.

Taskforce Chair Professor John Pollaers said the report findings would help build a comprehensive and sustainable workforce strategy for the industry, and in doing so, improve the quality of life of aged care consumers.

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