26 September 2023

Office for Ageing seeks views on TVs

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The Office for Ageing Well has launched a survey to find out the community’s views and attitudes towards the use of closed circuit TV monitors and other surveillance technology in the State’s residential aged care facilities.

The Office said it wanted to explore the effective and ethical matters relating to using the technology for its value as a care and safety resource compared with the privacy and dignity of residents in their homes.

In a related Discussion Paper, the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Chris Picton says that in its final report the Royal Commission into Aged Care Safety and Quality recognised the value of technology for supporting the care and functional needs of older people by helping to promote safety and contribute to improving quality of life.

“Such technology can serve a range of purposes, from supporting independence through assistance with daily living activities, to safeguarding aged care residents from abuse or mistreatment,” Mr Picton said.

“The type of surveillance and monitoring technology to be implemented will, of course, depend on the purpose to be served,” he said.

“Installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) in residential aged care facilities as a means of safeguarding residents has gained significant media attention in recent times.”

The Office for Ageing Well said the outcome of the community conversation would be discussed with other Government Departments and non-Government organisations to work together for the benefit of South Australians living in aged care.

“Considerations include the role of surveillance and monitoring in aged care; the pros and cons; different types of technology; rights and responsibilities; balancing privacy and safety; and technology costs,” it said.

In preparation for the community consideration, the Office for Ageing Well undertook a 12-month Australian-first CCTV pilot at two Government-run facilities, Northgate House Older Persons Mental Health Service and Mt Pleasant Aged Care.

“The pilot explored the acceptability, feasibility, and viability of using audio-visual surveillance and monitoring technology to support care in residential aged care,” the Office said.

It said a wide range of technology such as wearable devices, health trackers and movement and pressure sensors, is becoming available, and it wanted to gauge public attitudes on its acceptability for use within aged care facilities.

People wishing to take part in the consultation process can access the 22-page Discussion Paper at this PS News link and the survey at this link.

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