Renae Diggles

March 2, 2021

Aged Care Royal Commission: Fixing a Broken System

Renae Diggles

March 2, 2021

There have been many reports on government-funded aged care in Australia over the years. Recently, the final report was handed down by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. And there are 148 recommendations.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety Report

The royal commission’s report suggests that up to 30 percent of aged care residents have endured suffering as a result of less than desirable care standards.

Neglect is a major issue that needs addressing for residents in aged care. In response to this, there’s an initial allocation of $452 million by the federal government to address issues. Two of the issues include the provision of adequate care and food.

woman holding glass of water and pills sitting at kitchen bench

Improving Food & Nutrition: A Major Priority

The final report recommends that the daily food budget’s increased by $10 per day, per resident — A much-welcomed increase in funds. The report also recommended that aged care facilities provide incident reporting regarding unplanned weight loss and dehydration among residents. It’s essential to meet the nutritional needs of the residents with nutritionally balanced, enjoyable meals.

148 Recommendations

Some of the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety include a new ‘Aged Care Act.’

Furthermore, the appointment of an Inspector-General of Aged Care was recommended. They would look at issues in the aged care sector and publish findings. You can find all of the 148 recommendations on the Aged Care Royal Commission website.

elderly woman having head massage

COTA Identifies 5 Key Issues

Ian Yates, the chief of COTA for older Australians said that “When it comes to the crisis consuming our aged care system, the Royal Commissioners are unanimous in identifying the issues of neglect, abuse, indifference, and poor leadership.” COTA will engage with the federal government as they map out the reforms, with a push to prioritize 5 key issues.

One of the key issues pointed out by COTA includes abolishing waiting periods for home care, with all older people receiving the home care that they require. Ian Yates also said that “we need a major transformation of the system, and older Australians shouldn’t wait a day longer than needed to be guaranteed choice, dignity and quality in aged care.”

senior man having blood pressure taken

Who’s Going to Pay For It?

The Prime Minister publicly acknowledged that the report findings were “shocking.” He also suggested that the aged care sector needs to change to a needs-based system.

With this in mind, fixing a broken aged care system is going to take years and billions of dollars. This is in spite of the need for urgent change.  So, how is this going to unfold when there have been 2 decades of government cuts within the sector? Will will see an aged care levy or simply pay higher taxes?

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