© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
A number of interesting aged care and disability care trends emerged in 2020. We will wait and see if those trends continue in a vaccinated world.
Decline in requests for residential placements
There was a sudden decline in client requests for residential aged care placement, with a 50% drop in requests from March to November 2020.
This came as no surprise as clients and their families were concerned about the safety of residential care in light of the mounting deaths in Australian Government subsided aged care facilities. The final total of deaths was 685.
Within the residential aged care context, clients, families and carers were also well aware of the visiting limitations and cancellation of social activities. What was the point of moving to a place where you are confined to your room and not allowed visitors?
Six families called on DR Care Solutions to move a family member out of aged care and back into the parent's home. Where that home had been sold or rented, they moved in with family.
Sharp increase in home care
There was a sharp increase in requests for in-home care, as well as the amount of home care. In total there was around a 60% increase in demand for daily home care, with many existing clients requesting care visits every day rather than every second or third day.
More care of our older Australians
One heart-warming trend was the sudden increase in concern for our older Australians.
Clients receiving in-home care also received more contact - at a distance - from concerned children, friends and neighbours.
It was wonderful to see adult children spend more time with their elderly parents. No doubt the flexibility of "working from home" gave Gen X'ers more time to make those visits.
Where borders separated children from their elderly parents, we saw neighbours and friends pitching in to pay a visit, and deliver groceries and meals.
Out of it all, we did witness some novel and touching ways in which some very thoughtful Australians did their best to overcome the isolation felt by our elders.
Getting the paperwork in order
Minds did turn to the subject of mortality. This saw an increase in client referrals to our estate planning, financial advice and law partners.
People appeared to be more ready and willing to seek professional advice. Certainly there was a marked increase in demand for Enduring Powers of Attorneys (EPOA), and the revision of existing EPOAs where the chosen attorney was no longer capable of undertaking their duties under the EPOA.
Corporates seeking to help employees
Microsoft Australia, Macquarie Bank, Westpac and KPMG called on DR Care Solutions to assist their employees. I participated in a number of education programs aimed at raising awareness around aged care supports for elderly parents.
Watch this space as DR Care Solutions continues to work with a multinational consulting firm on delivering a digital care concierge service to employees of corporates and members of superannuation funds.
Royal Commission into Aged Care
The Commission's interim report, "Neglect", was released on 31 October 2020 and the final report is due on 26 February 2021. The interim report was scathing of our current system of aged care system. We can expect monumental changes to the system in the years to come.
Hats off to aged care workers
Shining through this year has been the dedication and resilience of our aged care and support workforce. We take our hats off to them and thank them for the extra care, and time, taken in adopting all the COVID precautions even when at times they were at risk themselves.
And we also thank them for honing their technology skills and going that extra mile to make those Zoom, Facetime and WhatsApp calls happen for our clients and their families!
Summer holiday visiting
On your visit, if you find your loved one is struggling with day-to-day life, feel free to contact me, Danielle Robertson, for a free initial discussion on finding some help and improving their quality of life.
My best wishes for this new year!
 Covid-19 Cases in Residential Aged Care Services, Australian Department of Health
 DR Care Solutions' Strategic Partners