Merle Mitchell is correct (‘‘I live in aged care but it is not home: an insider’s story’’, May 11-12).
In entering government-subsidised residential aged care, by choice or otherwise, most aspects of one’s life become medicalised, monetised, legalised and controlled by others in ways that may be confronting and frightening. Individual autonomy becomes illusory and the resident’s life story can be usurped, engulfed and even trampled on by an unregulated and dysfunctional aged-care system. -James Isbister, Ainslie (ACT)
Merle’s paid and voluntary work helped shape Victoria (and Australia) from the 1970s on.
I doubt there was one social welfare or health reform in that era that did not benefit from her professional expertise and commitment to social justice.
To think that her needs for company, for intellectual stimulation and humane care are not being met is an insult not only to her, but to all our elders whose contribution to this society is beyond measure. Commentators wonder why Victoria is more progressive than other states: it is because of the Merle Mitchells of the world and of the politicians who had the sense to listen to her. – Heather O’Connor, Wallaga…
SOURCE: Julie Power. “We owe it to our Elders to focus on better Aged care.” The Sydney Morning Herald, May 13, 2019.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia