Your Say

[ The University of Melbourne Voice Vol. 3, No. 8 13 October - 10 November 2008 ]
By Janine Sim-Jones


On any given day around 160 000 Australians live in residential care – they are rarely, if ever – asked what kind of environment would best suit them.

As an aged care bureaucrat Ralph Hampson visited a lot of nursing homes and admits he saw “some pretty terrible places”.

It's 2005. Your loved ones dementia is deteriorating much further than first suspected and you discover that the public trustee has already taken financial control of your loved ones partner, who is also suffering dementia, without notification. 17 years of shared funds simply disappear, leaving one with close to $100,000 and the other with less than $20,000.

The following satirical piece was written by a nurse aid with nursing home experience in the Australian aged care market. It gives a view of the system from a disgusted worker at the bottom of the pile - one with little chance of changing the system.

Over a decade since the original article was written and sadly, still relevant. It drives home the fact that in many homes, management's prime interest is the amount of money that can be squeezed from the care of the residents. Some call it "wrinkle ranching".

It needs no further introduction. For obvious reasons the name of the author is withheld and forgotten.

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