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Beyond storage: putting the spirit back into aged care

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Warehousing. When I first began working in the area of ageing and spirituality nearly 10 years ago, this was the term that Professor Elizabeth MacKinlay used to describe residential aged care.

At the time it seemed extreme, provocative even, but it stuck with me. As the work of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety unfolds, ‘warehousing’ no longer seems so farfetched. Indeed the interim report speaks of aged care services being ‘out of sight and out of mind’ – just like a warehouse.

The language we’ve been using gives us away: we no longer aspire to provide aged care homes, we have aged care facilities – alongside waste management facilities, and correctional and detention facilities. Relationships between our frail elders and their carers are described in depersonalised, transactional terms – as consumers and providers.

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Source:
Unknown Author, 2019, Australian Ageing Agenda (https://www.australianageingagenda.com.au)

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