Aged care is a hot topic in Australia right now and for heartbreaking reasons. The death toll in aged care facilities is rising daily, exposing intrinsic flaws within the aged care industry. With Victoria and New South Wales being hit hardest with COVID-19 cases, it’s left a devastating trail of fatalities. Our thoughts and condolences are with the families who have lost loved ones and those who are still dealing with loved ones in affected aged care residences.
The decision to place a family member in an aged care facility is fraught with major concerns, huge financial cost and the uncertainty of having to place your loved one in the entrusted care of others. It can also be a time of great loss of independence and familiarity for the older person entering aged care as their friends and community are lost.
We are living in unprecedented times forcing us to rethink how we care for our ageing Australians. As we wait to see how the next few months unfold, many families in Australia have already started to rethink how they'll care for their ageing family member. Whether that’s planning ahead or having to make a decision sooner rather than later.
One option is ageing at home which comes with huge benefits. The person can remain in a familiar environment, close to friends and their community. However, it can also come with its own set of challenges as loneliness and social isolation has damaging effects on older Australians. Having someone in the home who can provide companionship will aid in combating loneliness and social isolation. It can also give family members peace of mind knowing that there is someone there who can provide comfort and security for the whole family.
The Room Xchange is a great alternative for able elderly people ageing in their home. All our guests are vetted and verified. Our hosts and guests can feel confident knowing they’re covered under our insurance policy and customer service support. The arrangement is entirely flexible and on your terms. We encourage the family or guardian to be involved in the interviewing and decision making process. You have the option of trialling a guest for a week or two to see how they get along. Doing this can also help to alleviate any uncertainty that may be associated with a change in living arrangements. Our guests can also liaise with any personal care workers who are supporting their medical or physical needs. If you need more specialised support you can bring in a specialised care concierge service such as DR Care Solutions who can assist you with finding the right care and accommodation for your ageing relative.
One of our hosts who wanted to age at home is Maggie from Brisbane. We found her a fantastic guest, who was able to help out with the laundry, cook a few meals and be around in between her work commitments to keep Maggie company.
Here’s what Maggie had to say about her Xchange:
While the country navigates its way through this pandemic, there are other options you can consider. Using The Room Xchange as an option for ageing at home can help take the pressure off already over-committed family members without them feeling like they’re neglecting a loved one. For the guest participating in the Xchange, it can also bring a sense of fulfilment through contributing to someone else’s life. Whatever your choice, ageing at home allows our loved ones to remain independent and cared for at the same time. We need to start looking at the future of housing and how we can help support our ever increasing ageing population. The Room Xchange is surely an option worth exploring and we'd certainly be making better use of the available spare bedrooms in the homes of ageing people in Australia.
CEO and Founder, The Room Xchange