50s Lifestyle

Aged care crisis probe

A ROYAL Commission will investigate what the Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described as a “disturbing” rise in incidents of elder abuse and poor standards at aged care facilities.

The Royal Commission will look at the quality of care provided in residential and home aged care, as well as young Australians with disabilities living in residential aged care settings.
Mr Morrison said a “disturbing trend in terms of non-compliance”, and failures in the aged care sector, prompted him to call for the Royal Commission.

“If you want to deal with a problem, you have to be fair dinkum about understanding the full extent of it,” he said.
“Whether there is a crisis in aged care or not is to be determined. That is the point of holding a Royal Commission. It is not to pre-determine outcomes.”
Mr Morrison says evidence shows the problems are not restricted to any one part of the aged care sector, whether it is for profits or not-for-profit, large or small facilities, regional or major metropolitan.
“What matters most is fixing and getting ahead of the problem,” he said.
The Council on the Ageing (COTA), an independent, consumer-based non-government organisation, has welcomed the Royal Commission.
COTA Australia chief executive Ian Yates says the Royal Commission will throw the spotlight on the challenges facing aged care over the next two decades, but warns it must not delay significant reforms now underway to improve safety and quality standards for the 1.3 million older Australians using aged care services.
“We know now that these changes need to happen, and the Government should get on with them while the Royal Commission does its work to prepare for the future”, Mr Yates said.