Providers who ignore the Chief Medical Officer’s advice by continuing to ban relatives from age care homes say: “This is being done to save lives”. Families who have been locked out say: “Residents will die of neglect”, citing the Royal commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s interim report Neglect.
Once again providers demonstrate the unequal power relations between themselves and residents and their families. It also shows the ineffectiveness of the regulatory agency, the Age Care Quality and Safety Commission. Age care homes need a humane lockdown in which relatives who provide care for residents (e.g. feeding) continue to provide that care. Everyone who enters an age care home – both staff and visitors – must undertake the same infection control measures.
First published as a letter to The Age on 28 April 2020