1,047 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
Petition to
Senator Richard Colbeck (Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services) and

Why this petition matters

Started by Zia Cole

Residential Aged Care facilities are being locked down by the Public Health Unit (PHU) as soon as a COVID positive case in a facility is reported. This is a measure that was taken at the start of the pandemic 2 years ago!  A lot has changed since then - most residents are double if not triple vaccinated and are not getting as sick.  COVID has cost the government billions of dollars for mental health alone and yet in spite of evidence, the PHU continues to implement measures to prolong the physical life of the elderly but compromise on their mental wellbeing and emotional safety in the process.

Aged care residents are being subjected to neverending isolation where many are being treated like prisoners, confined to their rooms with no visitors, no fresh air and no exercise.  It is a form of abuse which they are currently powerless to stop.

There has been outrage over the last month which has mistakenly focused on COVID numbers within facilities rather than the rolling lockdowns.  It appears that most vaccinated residents who are contracting COVID are not getting seriously ill.  The cause of many of the deaths appears to be underlying conditions.  Pre-covid these same residents would more than likely have died if they had contracted influenza or pneumonia. Same outcome different virus/infection.  All the government have offered is a task force to make an enquiry into the situation which will take years.  More recently they are suggesting the Australian Defence Force be recruited within the nursing homes to assist with the staff shortages which will potentially terrify the aged, especially war veterans.

The PHU responsible for imposing these rules onto nursing homes has chosen to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the plight of the residents and loved ones alike.  Therefore, we as close relatives of people within an aged care facility implore your assistance to create change in the way the PHU is managing the COVID outbreaks.  We need it fast, and to this end have come up with the following suggestions to address these inhumane issues:

* NOMINATE ONE ESSENTIAL VISITOR PER RESIDENT who would have access during lockdowns in the same way, with the same controls and testing, as the staff.  Not only would this go a long way towards stabilising the mental health of the residents but it would also help with the staff shortage as these people could help with the care of the loved ones.

* Residents and carers who are at the coalface need to be GIVEN A VOICE.  In keeping with the law as set out by the Charter of Aged Care Rights, they (or their authorised loved ones) should be allowed to decide what visitors they have, and what level of risk they are prepared to take.

Residents should be able to CHOOSE whether or not they be locked down in their rooms during an outbreak, or take the slightly greater risk of being able to move freely within the home.

* Get RESIDENTS (or authorised persons) TO SIGN OFF ON LIABILITY as a result of their decision, i.e. the nursing home and the state and federal governments cannot be held responsible if that resident dies as a result of COVID.

* GIVE STAFF A VOICE:  Not only are they being afflicted by the virus, but they are burning out doing long shifts and also watching the people they care for suffering, with no end in sight.  No-one is listening to them and they are fearful of losing their jobs if they speak up. They will leave the sector if this continues. Changing the situation by allowing essential visitors during lockdown is the first step in addressing this pressure, but ongoing attention needs to be paid to the low salaries that prevail in this vital area.

If something to this effect does not happen, and soon, many lives will be lost in aged care facilities as a result of loneliness, desperation and despair.  What quality of life do these dear aged humans have as they move towards the end of their lives if they are being isolated in such a cruel and brutal fashion?

If you are currently living in Australia and this resonates with you please add your name.  The more signatures we get, the more powerful our message becomes.



1,047 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!