2019 is going to be a big year of focus for Aged Care in Australia

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2019 will be a year of great focus and change for the Australian aged care sector with a number of things taking place that will directly impact the organisations, staff, families and individuals receiving care.

We know that most people in the sector are in the midst of massive organisational change.

Whether you are a family member who is considering the care of a loved one or an individual wanting to maintain your independence as you grow older, it’s important to keep abreast of this information.

Couple this with the continued evolution of technology, digital literacy and inclusion initiatives for seniors and we believe 2019 presents an incredible opportunity to further improve the wellbeing and quality of life of older Australians and their families. Every week there is more evidence highlighting how technology can aid in reducing the impact of social isolation, loneliness and support the ongoing mental stimulation for individuals.

Below are the main areas that will impact the aged care sector in 2019.

1. Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

The event that will likely get the most attention this year will be the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. The Royal Commission was announced in 2018 and will potentially bring about some confronting stories. Preliminary hearings will commence in January 2019 in Adelaide. The Commission has already begun to invite aged care providers to make written submissions.

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2. Aged Care Complaints Commissioner

On January 1st, the new independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission began operation. The Commission launched its one-stop quality and safety website and the single new contact number for aged care concerns and queries: 1800 951 822. The website has details around:

  • Aged care consumer rights

  • Access to free advocacy services to support senior Australians

  • Consumer Experience Reports about individual aged care services

  • Access to audit reports on aged care homes

  • How to register complaints, including tips on documenting concerns

  • Translation services to support non-English speaking clients

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3. New Aged Care Quality Standards - July 2019

As of July 1 2019, a single Aged Care Quality Standards will apply to all aged care services including residential care, home care, flexible care and the Commonwealth Home Support Program services. These standards will replace four previous seperate standards (Accreditation Standards, Home Care Standards, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program Quality Framework Standards, Transition Care Standards.)

The new Aged Care Quality Standards will be comprised of the below:

Standard 1. Consumer dignity and choice
Standard 2. Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers
Standard 3. Personal care and clinical care
Standard 4. Services and supports for daily living
Standard 5. Organisation's service environment
Standard 6. Feedback and complaints
Standard 7. Human resources
Standard 8. Organisational governance

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4. Federal Election 2019 (Date to be confirmed)

In the lead up to the election, keep an eye out for announcements around ageing, care and seniors.

It’s safe to say that organisations and providers will have a lot to do this coming year, but everything is aimed at improving the care of our older population. We’re seeing innovative providers leading the way through integrating technology into their service delivery.

Contact YourLink to find out more about how we can help your organisation or aged care home with your digital inclusion and wellness programs. Contact Richard on 0408 742 743 or email richard@yourlink.com.au.