Q+A host Hamish Macdonald fought back tears last night in a discussion about aged care.
Included in the audience were brave Australians fighting dementia, but given a chance to voice their concerns to the panel.
One of those was 56 year old Tim, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers at just 51.
“How do you feel about the prospect of one day going into an aged care facility?” Hamish Macdonald asked.
“I’d be horrified…if it was me. If that’s the thing we’re looking for… we need to do a lot more than that,” Tim replied.
Daughter Prue added, “I think what makes it scary, too, is that he’s, he’s so much younger, he’s going to be potentially going in and he’s in his 60s or sooner, and which we really want to avoid.
“How can he live his best life in these facilities that aren’t really set up for him at his age? It’s an issue. There’s more and more people getting diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.”
“What do you say to your wife and daughter, when this comes up when you have to talk it through?” asked Hamish.
“It’s gonna be difficult……and probably, that’s gonna be very hard for them as well. Very, very hard.”
It was a discussion that moved the Q+A host.
“I’m so sorry to hear that that’s a choice you’ve got to make as a family.”
Another audience member, Trevor, was diagnosed at 62. He too is reluctant to enter an aged care facility.
“I’d avoid it like the plague, for starters and after that I’d continue to find an alternative,” he said.
A final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care is due to be handed down today.