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Some would rather die than go into care: royal commission day six

Some people would rather die than go into residential aged care facilities.

This is according to UnitingCare Australia’s Claerwen Little, who told the commission about the findings from Uniting’s research into community perceptions of aged care.

They found, among other things, that although it is in people’s minds, aged care is not seen as the most pressing issue for the government to fix.

However, the research did find that the wider public had a number of misconceptions about the sector.

“People thought that it was dominated by the for-profit sector, that … the big for-profits were making a lot of money out of aged care,” Little said.

“That it was mostly residential care … And the sort of nuances of community home support program and home care program really weren’t part of their … understanding of the aged care system and sector.”

The research also showed that our understanding of who funds aged care is limited, and what’s more, people don’t want to pay for it themselves.

“They think that more money is needed from government. And I think one of the other key findings is that people don’t believe that they should be paying for aged care. They do believe they’ve paid their taxes and they’ve contributed to the community all their life and that they should be supported in old age,” Little said.

When asked what their findings say about perceptions of aged care, Little did not sugar-coat her response.

“Sadly, some people suggested they would rather die than go into a residential aged care facility. They would rather poke their eye with a pencil than have to enter a home,” she said.

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