NATION’S AGEING CRISIS:
“Be careful what you wish for!”
That’s the grim warning to the Aged Care Royal Commission from CLOACA, the national body representing the operators of privately run aged care and retirement villages throughout the nation.
Companies Leaning On Aged Care Australians spokeswoman Ms Starr Vemfast has called on the royal commission to be disbanded “before it makes decisions that could leave tens of thousands of old folk living – and dying – destitute on the streets”.
Ms Vemfast accused “goody-too-shoes” such as celebrity cook Maggie Beer of trying to make such facilities so pleasant to live in that “our burgeoning baby boomer population will want to stay alive just so they can try them out”.
“Of course many of our aged-care homes are dreadful shitholes that sensible people try to avoid at all costs.
“That’s why we have millions of baby boomers now in their 70s who are obese, happily eating rich foods and drinking heavily, all with the admirable aim of dropping dead before they’re forced into aged care.
“If Maggie Beer has her way and these centres have gourmet chefs on staff cooking not-to-die for-tucker – with the aroma of fried onion wafting down the corridors as those clowns on ABC News Breakfast suggested yesterday – then these baby boomers will want to hang around and enjoy them. They are a very selfish demography.
“Make aged care attractive to them and they could live in our centres in a demented state for years, putting our members’ profit margins at risk.
“And we’ve all seen what happens when these centres go broke, as happened on the Gold Coast the other day.”
Ms Vemfast also hit out at “so-called well-meaning activists” demanding aged care facilities have sufficient, well-paid staff to care for such residents.
“We’ve all seen the footage of a frustrated and tired staff member working alone and slapping around some demented old fogey but that’s surely a good thing to act as a deterrent?
“How many staff would you need to handle one of these senile old bastards with decency and compassion? Four? Five? And all with degrees and on $100,000 a year plus?
“Cooing nice words to them as they apply restraints with loving professional care as they ask whether they enjoyed their 300gram medium-rare rump with jacketed potatoes, in-season vegetables and real mushroom sauce?
“No, mark my words. Have nutritious, tasty tucker and plenty of it and the right number of staff and aged care will be unaffordable to most Australians if these centres charge what is needed to run at a profit, which our members are surely entitled to make?
“So all I’m saying is that all these do-gooders making submissions to this royal commission should be careful what they wish for.
“Do they want old people dying homeless on the street because aged care is too expensive?
“Or would they want their loved ones being uncared for properly and being starved to death in a humane yet timely fashion, bearing in mind the ever-increasing waiting lists for placements?
“Our centres are not called God’s waiting rooms for nothing and the waiting lists are growing fast enough without the likes of Maggie Beer and other do-gooders starting a stampede.
“At least under the current way of doing things, these elderly folk at least have a roof over their heads in hopefully the short time they’re with us.“
Top: A resident at Dunrootin’ Aged Care facility on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast heads down to the centre’s dining room.