Aromatherapy decline under the ACFI

Aromatherapists say they have lost a lot of aged care business since the new tool was introduced.

Aromatherapists have seen a dramatic decline in aged care business since the introduction of the aged care funding instrument (ACFI).

The International Aromatherapists and Aromatic Medicine Association’s (IAAMA) aged care coordinator, Aileen Wright says practitioners throughout the country have lost work since the new tool was introduced in March last year.

“There are lots of aromatherapists who aren’t being employed any more,” she said.

“That’s impacting on the people going into the colleges to train. Those numbers are really going down because people are thinking that there’s no point pursuing it if they can’t get a job.”

Under the resident classification scale (RCS), Ms Wright says facilities were able to attract funding for aromatherapy but now residents have to pay for it on a fee-for-service basis.

“If a resident is just relying on the pension, they don’t have much spare money by the time they have gone to the hairdresser and bought some clothes. And it’s the poorer ones who probably need aromatherapy more,” she said

“They say: ‘The fees have just gone up so why should I pay for something that has been free for years’.”

Aromatherapy uses massage, essential oils, vapourisers, spa baths and clay poultices to provide relief to people with pain, Parkinson’s disease, depression and dementia.

“I had one man in an aged care facility who suffered from alcohol and substance abuse and had been homeless for years. At night he wouldn’t go to bed and he wouldn’t have much to do with anyone,” Wright said.

“Eventually he was persuaded to have a bath with lavender oil and within two weeks he was going to bed and sleeping through the night. He was a different person.”

The IAAMA is preparing a submission to the Federal Government asking for aromatherapy to be listed under the allied health section of the ACFI.

Tags: acfi, aged-care, allied-health, aromatherapy, funding,

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