Watching the Four Corners investigation into the aged care sector last night was like waking up from a bad dream. We’ve been working tirelessly here at hayylo for 4 years now trying to find ways to solve some of the biggest issues facing the aging population. We’ve spent countless hours working with aged care providers, both in residential and community care, in order to unlock their challenges. We’ve spent days on days, on days, talking to their clients, their families and even our own, just to try and understand the complexity of the struggles faced by the community. All for the sole purpose of building technology that can actually make a difference.

The program last night was a blunt reminder of the work that needs to be done, a rude awakening of sorts. We love what we do and we love working with some of the most innovative and caring organisations in the industry, and there is many of them, but it seems like the storm we have all been avoiding is now upon us. It’s time to get real about the challenges we have ahead of us as a community and work towards sustainable solutions to combat them.

If you didn’t get an opportunity to view the program I would recommend you do. Not only as a provider looking to ensure you don’t fall victim to the impending royal commission but as a family member of someone who receives care or as someone who will one day need it themselves.

What became bone chillingly apparent last night, is that the sector will only change once we demand change. Just like how the banking royal commission didn’t change the banking industry to a large degree, the royal commission into aged care, probably won’t change that much either. I completely agree to both the commissions for the fact that they shed light on both sectors and their inherent problems, and they do make productive changes, changes to policy, changes to our view on the industry, changes to the level of services expected but the real change only comes when the market or the community demands it. I remember a recent conversation with a salesperson who was trying to get me to change my energy provider to a cheaper alternative. They asked me, “how much savings it would take to change?” As I stopped to think about what was important to me, I explained to them that I need a 100% green option and the convenience of a mobile app to see my usage, make payments, update personal information and send inquiries that can be dealt with at my convenience. Suffice to say the call ended quickly as they couldn’t top what I was already receiving from Powershop. The point is, I demanded a standard, I chose quality and my needs over price. Now I understand that is not always possible and that in some circumstances people are faced with situations where they only have one option due to price or supply. As in some areas of the country where there is only one aged care provider that has services available in that area.

Regardless of the edge cases, we as a community have the power to make the most change. We can wait for a royal commission or another Four Corners Program before we voice our concerns but at the end of the day, it’s our dollars and our voices that can make the most change. For the providers out there, it’s about making meaningful advancements to the way you provide services to the community, either through technology, more staff or better training. For families, it’s your responsibility to demand a standard and speak out when it’s not met. Choose who you give the privilege of caring for your loved one too. If they don’t stack up, let the rest of the community know about it on social media or even move providers!

And for us, at hayylo, An organisation that is focused on making the relationship between the provider and their customers better, it’s our responsibility to listen, share and build things that can actually help people.

Please, if you’re in the industry or are in anyway affected by it, which everyone is. Watch the episode and the follow up next week and demand more!