The Chair of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, the Hon G T Pagone QC, calls upon all in the Australian community, including the Australian Government and aged care providers, to be vigilant about the many and varied impacts of, and responses to, COVID19. The pandemic affects the entire country but affects each of us differently. The aged in our community are amongst the most vulnerable and are affected both by the potential to be infected with the virus as well as by the unintended consequences of the otherwise understandable and reasonable steps which have been taken to ensure for their safety.
We have heard, and continue to hear, of many unfortunately unintended consequences flowing from the measures which have been taken to comply with the reasonable restrictions which have been imposed upon us by Government to protect the health and wellbeing of those intended to be protected. Many older people have been restricted in the number and length of family and other visitors who have been allowed to visit them.
We understand the importance of these measures and support them having been undertaken. They are designed to help all, including those for whom the impact may be harsh. We must all bear in mind, however, the vulnerability of this part of the community to be protected and that a consequence of the measures taken to protect them may be causing them harm. There is, therefore, a need that the measures put in place to protect frail older people also deal with the negative aspects of the measures designed to protect them.