Messages for health providers

Two key themes emerged when we asked people if they had any messages for health providers – the first involved human care and contact and the second was a call for more resources in aged care from several participants located in the Northern Territory.

People we spoke with wanted doctors, nurses and anyone working in aged care to treat them with compassion. They wanted health providers to listen to them, to be tolerant, patient and understanding. Participants felt it was important that this was taught in health professional training as well as reinforced in the workplace.

Ron would like to see management staff at his aged care facility connecting more with the residents.

Maree, a former nurse, thinks health providers should be patient and take their time in caring for people.

The only people to mention the need for more health resources for older people were from the Northern Territory. Val pointed out the lack of geriatric specialists within medical clinics. When Brian H was in hospital the shortage of nurses meant he had to wait up to half an hour after he pressed his call bell before he was seen. All three Aboriginal participants said their community required more resources for aged care, with a desire to train more Aboriginal doctors.

Guymun points out the need for residential aged care in her community because there are only daytime respite services and it is difficult for family members to look after the elderly.

Oscar thinks it is important to have a doctor based in the community and would like to see more training for Aboriginal (Yolngu) doctors.