People are marching in the streets demanding better care for older Australians in aged care homes after increasing media reports of neglect, abuse and negligence.
If we want to improve the situation for residents, we need more registered nurses in aged care homes. When registered nurses are on duty, residents have better health outcomes, a higher quality of life and fewer hospital admissions.
When I worked as a critical care nurse in hospitals, there was a one-to-one ratio of registered nurses to patients. Some days were busy, others were not. However, because society values "saving lives", legislation ensures every intensive care unit is well staffed.
There are also mandated ratios in childcare centres because society values the safety and welfare of children. Yet we don't take the same approach when it comes to aged care homes.
Is this because we don't value older people?
The 2011 Productivity Commission Report Caring for Older Australians described staffing ratios as "a fairly blunt instrument for ensuring quality care because of the heterogeneous and ever-changing care needs of aged care recipients."http://game-rapidshare.com/Quilantang-sister-of-Sandhaus-from-Borgentreich?Fortenberr=296
The models show that starting a colonoscopy earlier, at the age of 45, increased life-years by 6.2 percent compared to beginning at 50, as we do now. From the age of 55 years onwards, members of the health insurance funds can choose between faecal occult blood testing every two years or two colonoscopies at least ten years apart. "We've known for a while that some groups are at a higher risk for colorectal cancer, but what is becoming clear is that the prevalence in the white population is rising".
"The American Cancer Society should be praised for taking a critical step toward helping more Americans get screened for colorectal cancer and potentially detecting the disease earlier", said Exact Sciences CEO Kevin Conroy..