Australian Aged Care Royal Commission Submission Guide

A lot of people planning to make a submission to the Aged Care Royal Commission in Australia are finding it hard to decide where to start, so I’ve put together this brief guide that will help you plan your submission and make things easier for you.

I recommend starting off by drawing up a rough plan. Only you will see this plan, so don’t worry about making it perfect. Put your records away for now and just start writing everything that you can think of that you want to include in your submission.

If you are finding it difficult to get started, check out the guide provided here: https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/submissions/Pages/Guidance-on-making-a-submission.aspx Not all of these areas will be relevant to you, but there is plenty there to start you off.

A lot of people prefer to use a pen and paper at this stage, but a word document is fine too. Spend as long as you need on this stage of the planning process. Don’t worry about going into too much detail here, just include enough information so you will know what you mean later on.

Once you feel that you have included all the information you want to include in your submission it’s time to plan your first draft. Firstly, have a look at your plan and decide how you are going to order your submission. You may want to go in chronological order, or perhaps you would prefer to group information in the same order of the guidelines provided above.

Next, go through your rough plan and add headings for all of your information following the order that you decided on earlier. Make notes beneath your headings regarding any supporting documentation you wish to include.

Now you are ready to begin your final draft. Underneath each of your headings write down exactly what happened, where it happened, who was involved, and why you think it is relevant to the Royal Commission.  You may want to go back over these guidelines and your records to make sure you’ve included all relevant information.

Include a note to indicate whether you will also be including supporting documentation in regards to each incident if applicable.

Make sure you stick to the facts and incidents that happened to you or your family member/friend. These incidents can be emotionally charged, but your submission will be clearer and hold more power if you do your best to simply write about what happened.

For your first paragraph, I recommend including information regarding who you are, why you are making a submission to the Royal Commission, whether it is on behalf of another person, and the service this submission is about. If you are making an anonymous submission, make sure this information doesn’t reveal your identity.

Remember to make a separate submission for each service you have experience of.

Once you have finished your final draft, read over it again and check your plan to make sure you have included all of your information. Run your document through spell check and also read through carefully to make sure it is clear, concise, and free from obvious spelling and grammar errors.

Please don’t feel pressured to have a perfect document, as long as it is clear and readable. If you are still unsure, I am happy to confidentially proofread your submission. Email ACRCSH1@gmail.com

You can make an anonymous submission to the Royal Commission. Your submission will still be considered, although you won’t be notified of any outcomes.

The Royal Commission emphasised that it is unlawful for an employer to take punitive action against an employee or ex-employee who provides evidence or a submission to the Royal Commission. If you have any concerns about this or a related issue, please contact your ANMF branch for support immediately http://anmf.org.au/documents/ANMF_Royal_Commission_Update2.pdf

Submissions can be made online at https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/submissions/Pages/default.aspx (this is the preferred method). Prepare your submission on a word document first and you can then copy and paste it into the submission form.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to prepare your submission offline first, the submission form can be downloaded from Aged Care Royal Commission – online submissions form (PDF 467KB) and completed offline, either digitally or by printing and then scanning the document.

This form can then be submitted by beginning the online submission form and uploading your completed form when prompted, or emailing it to ACRCenquiries@royalcommission.gov.au

If you are unable to communicate via email please phone the Royal Commission on 1800 960 711 to make alternative arrangements.

If you have concerns that information that you are considering providing to the Commission may be defamatory, you should consider seeking independent legal advice.

Please note that preparing a submission for the Royal Commission can be an emotional experience and trigger distressing memories. If you or somebody you know is struggling, please seek help. Every submission is important, but please make sure you take care of yourself first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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June Wrap-Up

June has been a bit of a study in contrasts. I’ve had periods where I’ve had a lot of work to do and a couple of weeks where I could have won a gold medal in the couch potato Olympics. I think it balanced out to be successful month overall, although I would have liked to have been able to read more books.

I wrote an article for HelloCare Carepage that describes my experiences of the Australian aged care sector with my Pop who suffers from dementia, calling for mandated staff ratios to be introduced. It’s a sad, but increasingly common, story and I’ve been overwhelmed by the support I have received for this article, particularly by aged care staff across the country. I’m so relieved that my respect and support for aged care professionals came through loud and clear. I’m in the process of working on some more articles for HelloCare Carepage, including dementia communication tips and strategies I have learned over the last few years. I feels like an enormous weight has been lifted off my shoulders to be able to make something positive out of such a crappy situation.

The other sort of non-bookish activity that has taken up a good chunk of my time has been watching the Outlander television series. I usually prefer to read the books before I watch the film/series, but I knew I would never find time to read the entire series in a hurry. I’ve just began the third season and I’m hooked and desperate to visit Scotland after seeing so much of the breath-taking scenery of Scotland.  I really admire the fighting spirit of the Scottish who fought the British Empire at its peak for so many years and hope a dash of that courage was passed down to me by my Scottish ancestors!

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Books I read in June

I only read three books in June, but I enjoyed them all in different ways. Hopefully the worst of the chilly Melbourne winter nights are behind us so I can find more energy for reading and blogging! I’m the kind of person who would totally sleep through winter if I could get away with it.

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P IS FOR PEARL by Eliza Henry-Jones

Goodreads 

From the talented author of the celebrated novels In the Quiet and Ache comes a poignant and moving book that explores the stories we tell ourselves about our families, and what it means to belong.

Seventeen-year-old Gwendolyn P. Pearson has become very good at not thinking about the awful things that have happened to her family. She has also become used to people talking about her dead mum. Or not talking about her and just looking at Gwen sympathetically. And it’s easy not to think about awful things when there are wild beaches to run along, best friends Loretta and Gordon to hang out with – and a stepbrother to take revenge on.

But following a strange disturbance at the cafe where she works, Gwen is forced to confront what happened to her family all those years ago. And she slowly comes to realise that people aren’t as they first appear and that like her, everyone has a story to tell.

‘P is for Pearl is a complex, authentic exploration of grief, friendship, mental illness, family and love, sensitively written by a writer whose voice will resonate with teen readers.’

My Review 

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THE RULES OF BACKYARD CROQUET BY Sunni Overend

Goodreads

Disgraced fashion prodigy Apple March has gone into hiding, concealing herself within the cashmere and silk folds of a formerly grand fashion boutique – the hanging of blouses and handling of difficult patrons now her only concern. But when her sister Poppy needs a wedding dress, old passions are reignited … along with threats from her past.

As Apple finds herself falling for someone she shouldn’t, her quest to re-emerge becomes entangled in a time she wants forgotten, and life unravels as quickly as it began to mend.

From the cool heart of Melbourne to Paris and New York, in an effervescent world of croquet, Campari and cocoon coats, can Apple prevail over demons past to become the woman she was born to be?

My Review 

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THE STORY OF OUR LIFE by Shari Low

Goodreads

Unwind, laugh, cry … but feel uplifted with this bittersweet love story. Perfect for the fans of Jo-Jo Moyes and Marian Keyes.

So what would you do if your ‘happy ever after’ was stolen from you?

Colm strolled into my life fifteen years ago. If there’s ever such a thing as love at first sight, that was it for us both. A few weeks later we married, celebrating with those who cared, ignoring the raised eyebrows of the cynics.

We knew better. This was going to be forever. The dream come true. The perfect ending. Until it wasn’t.

Because a couple of months ago everything changed. We discovered a devastating truth, one that blew away our future and forced us to revisit our past, to test the bonds that were perhaps more fragile than they seemed.

So now I ask you again, what would you do if your ‘happy ever after’ was taken from you?

Because this is what I did.

I’m Shauna.

And this is the Story of Our Life…

My Review 

 

Dementia Sucks!

It’s been three months since my last blog post…I’ ve been a terrible blogger! But in that time I have done my best to be the best granddaughter that I can possibly be and to keep up with my university studies as well. I’ve sat down at my computer hundreds of times to write a review or just to let you know where I’ve been but I’ve had the biggest case of writer’s block that I have ever experienced. And let me tell you, writing 2500 word essays on copyright law is not a pleasant experience with a case of writer’s block!!

Earlier this year my grandfather (Pop) had a stroke and now has severe dementia. My family had to make the decision to put him into a nursing home because he needs a high amount of care. I’m sure all of you who have a loved one or friend suffering from this cruel disease, in any of its variations, knows that it’s shit. And I’m sure the rest of you can imagine.

Having to place your loved one into the care of strangers is equally shit, but I think this experience is one that is impossible to imagine unless you’ve gone through it yourself. Even if it’s a ‘good’ nursing home, which in most respects my Pop’s home is, it’s still shit. Probably the biggest shock for me was to discover that there are no mandatory staff ratios for aged care homes in Australia  and a pattern over the last 10 years or so of an increase in the amount of unqualified personal carers and a decrease in the amount of Registered Nurses working in aged care. This seems to be a worldwide issue and one that I really think more people should be aware of. We’re all going to get old one day!

Besides from that tiny little rant, I’ve been doing my best to be there for my Pop. As difficult as it can be sometimes, it makes it all worth my while when I’m able to make him smile and show me his usual cheeky self.

Here’s a collection of some of my favourite pics. I might be a little bit biased but I think my grandparents are beautiful!

Stay tuned for a ginormous catch-up of book reviews coming soon!

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Me and Pop
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The love of his life
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My last visit before the stroke
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This is his most favourite photo of himself

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