More Australians are taking their elderly relatives out of aged-care facilities as the COVID-19 pandemic exposes cracks in the sector.
More Australians are taking their elderly relatives out of aged-care facilities as the COVID-19 pandemic exposes cracks in the sector.

Aussies taking relatives out of aged care

More Australians are taking their elderly relatives out of aged-care facilities as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to expose cracks in the troubled sector, new data shows.

Research conducted by Fifth Dimension showed 53 per cent of 1000 Australians surveyed in August had lost faith in aged-care and 54 per cent were moving to take their relatives out of nursing homes.

Just Better Care chief operating officer Alison Chandler, who delivers in-home aged care services, said she had been "inundated" with referrals since the pandemic started.

She also said staff members were dealing with a "huge number" of referrals from Frankston Hospital, where a COVID-19 outbreak forced more than 600 healthcare workers into isolation about two weeks ago.

"They called us up and said they needed to clear the beds for coronavirus patients so we've been helping settle some of these patients back into their homes," Ms Chandler said.

"On top of referrals like this we've definitely noticed an increasing trend of people wanting to take their elderly friends or relatives out of facilities.

"We first noticed it when the royal commission kicked off, but seeing that again now as awful stories come out of these nursing homes today."

An outbreak at Epping Gardens Aged Care facility was one of the worst in Victoria, where more than 200 cases were recorded. Picture: Andrew Henshaw/NCA NewsWire
An outbreak at Epping Gardens Aged Care facility was one of the worst in Victoria, where more than 200 cases were recorded. Picture: Andrew Henshaw/NCA NewsWire

Ms Chandler believed more people were aware about in-home aged care services.

"The great thing about home care is that you can delay elderly people going into aged care for quite some time, if not forever," she said.

"Families put their relatives into aged care because they just don't have the time or ability to look after them at home, but that's changing - more people are making the time now.

"Three years ago we were delivering 30 packages, today we're at 1000."

Originally published as Aussies taking relatives out of aged care