Utopia: Aboriginal elderly sleeping on ground with dogs amid calls for improved aged care – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

There are a number of aspects to this story which cause me concern. Is this how we take care of the aged in our community? Is this how we want to take care of the aged in our community?

I realise it’s a complex issue, and I realise that services we have ready access to in the cities and major towns of Australia cannot be so easily made available in remote communities. I realise that.

There’s an issue, too, about who provides the services. In the past, it would have been family. That’s often neither possible nor feasible these days, but sometimes it is.

And its not always about money (although clearly funding is part of the problem). There are some amazingly dedicated people providing professional and personal services to elderly people, providing them with care and dignity in frail old age. A frail old age often complicated by ill health, by loneliness, by isolation.

How awful to read about this, in a settlement named Utopia.

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Source: Utopia: Aboriginal elderly sleeping on ground with dogs amid calls for improved aged care – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

2 thoughts on “Utopia: Aboriginal elderly sleeping on ground with dogs amid calls for improved aged care – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

  1. They always want to bring them in to some institution. Those have had horrible reputations in the past, so I don’t blame people not wanting to come in. Sounds like they need creative solutions coming from their own tribes and families. What would you do? How do you think the government could/should help?

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  2. They do need creative solutions, and I wonder whether any of the people living at Utopia could help or would be interested in helping. The government needs to engage with people at the local level, I think, to find out exactly what is needed and to hear their suggestions about how it could be provided. Too much government intervention has been a problem in the past, but it has created an expectation for some that government should be responsible for everything.

    If I was there, I would help this lady in the same way as I would help my mother (sadly no longer with us) or any other frail elderly person. Support with dignity. If this lady wishes to remain with her family, her dogs and in her community, there must be some way this can be supported. Perhaps other communities might have suggestions. This lady’s plight should not just be an ephemeral headline, which will be forgotten tomorrow (if it hasn’t already been).

    I was discussing this issue with a friend whose frail elderly mother’s fierce independence has her wanting to reject all assistance. There’s never a ‘one size fits all’ solution.

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