All consumers have rights, no matter their age. Unfortunately, the older that people get in today’s society, the more likely it is that they’ll be brushed aside and ignored. Studies throughout Australia and the world continue to suggest that today’s seniors aren’t getting the respect they deserve from aged care providers.
This is one of the messages that we’ve seen from the Royal Commission. According to the Fifth Estate article, the care and retirement living sectors have started to think of residents as customers, rather than citizens. This is important, because it often means that residents are dehumanized. Even the living sector for retired individuals is often ableist, because they advertise only active living options.
Improving the Care for Older Citizens
Transforming the marketplace so that it starts to consider people as older citizens, rather than just consumers, is crucial to creating a more comfortable and engaging space for people from all backgrounds. Just because a care facility needs to be filled with healthcare equipment like hoists, lifts, and other crucial tools, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be comfortable and convenient to use.
Unfortunately, the study conducted by the Royal Commission this year found that there has been a change in the way that people think about seniors in aged care. Many see seniors as “customers” in an “industry” rather than citizens using a social service. This sometimes means that things like comfort and dignity for older individuals is overlooked in favour of cost-savings.
Fortunately, brands like Guldmann buck the trend by offering affordable lifting and handling systems and hoists, without compromising on comfort for elderly citizens. These ceiling hoists blend seamlessly into the background of care facilities when they’re not being used and offer today’s residents the comfort and support that they need when it comes to typical moving and handling processes.
Not only are these hoists more of a relaxing experience for today’s senior citizens, but they’re safer for both the users and carers in the care environment today too. This means that everyone can benefit from a more seamlessly aligned environment.
Are Ageism and Ableism an Issue?
Another problem that may need to be considered in the current marketplace, is whether ageism and ableism might be an issue. For the well-off, there are currently a number of options available for retirement living. Though the retirement facilities today are designed for people who don’t always have a lot of mobility, the marketing pitch available often targets people who can enjoy a more active lifestyle than those with dementia or major limitations.
Research suggests that even high-end retirement developments today aren’t attracting everyone that can afford them. Research by the Housing and Urban Research Institute in Australia found that the majority of older homeowners are unwilling to downsize or move into different environments, because they don’t want to lose access to familiar places. Additionally, the homeowners that do move are often unhappy initially too.
Most people only move out of their family home when they’re prompted to do so by a significant event, such as a serious illness or the death of a partner. Though older renters can be more mobile than homeowners, this is often because they can no longer afford their rent.
Transforming the Care Environment
Ultimately, there are a lot of complex issues to address in the way that senior citizens are supported and treated in the modern world. While it’s important for carers to have access to safe and non-strenuous forms of patients handling equipment, it’s also crucial for facilities to think carefully about how they can make the environment as welcoming and comfortable as possible for people who don’t want to feel singled out when they get older.
Sclabrini is one of the aged care providers currently leading the way in showing what aged care should be like. This premium provider uses state-of-the-art solutions to support comfort for all kinds of residents, no matter their background or mobility issues. Scalabrini uses Elsi and Guldmann tools in every room, for exceptional comfort.
The article here highlights how the wrong design decisions can easily reduce a patient’s quality of life, and make it difficult for them to live normally as they get into the later years of their life. It’s time to start thinking of older citizens as people, not just consumers.