John Oliver on nursing homes and elder care

He shows once again how the for-profit motive in health care leads to all manner of abuses.

One thing that Oliver did not adequately cover is how to evaluate which homes provide good care and have enough staff and pays them well, apart from the one case that he showed of an utterly opulent place that is meant for the very wealthy.


  1. prl says

    Australia has recently has a Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, and some of its findings have been shocking, though not entirely unexpected:

    Commissioner Briggs concludes that at least 1 in 3 people accessing residential aged care and home care services—or over 30%—have experienced substandard care. Among the data, she notes the following disturbing themes:
    • the incidence of assaults may be as high as 13–18% in residential aged care
    • there is a clear overuse of physical and chemical restraint in residential aged care
    • in residential aged care, some 47% of people have concerns about staff, including understaffing, unanswered call bells, high rates of staff turnover, and agency staff not knowing the residents and their needs
    • in home care, one-third of people have concerns about staff, including continuity of staff and staff not being adequately trained
    • in respite care in residential facilities and in the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, about 30% of people have concerns about staff, including understaffing, continuity, training and communication
    • substandard care has become normalised in some parts of the aged care system, such that people have low expectations of the quality of their care.

    From the Commission Final report, Vol 1.

    A Royal Commission in Australia is a formal inquiry instituted by, and with terms of reference set by, government, but carried out by independent commissioners appointed by the government, often retired judges. It is up to the government how much of a Royal Commission’s recommendations are implemented.

  2. Heidi Nemeth says

    Involuntary moveouts are what the nursing home industry calls people who either die at the nursing home or get sent to the hospital (often to die). The rate of involuntary moveouts is probably a good indicator of the quality of a nursing home. Of course, staff turnover is also a good indicator. The lower those two rates, the better the nursing home is likely to be.

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