After 21 years of opacity about staffing and care, the aged-care community and workforce needs and deserves guaranteed clarity. 

MP Rebekha Sharkie has recently introduced a Bill (which has now progressed to an Inquiry) requiring every aged care home to disclose and publish quarterly staff/resident ratios, providing some much-needed transparency to aged care. 

Jane Phillips, University of Technology Sydney; David Currow, University of Technology Sydney; Deborah Parker, University of Technology Sydney, and Nola Ries, University of Technology Sydney

It’s been 20 years since the government brought in the Aged Care Act 1997 to deliver a new model of care for older Australians who could no longer live at home and required assistance with daily tasks. The act aimed to facilitate choice and independence for the elderly, and direct services to those with the greatest needs.

But the legislative change also coincided with an era of advanced ageing and more complex needs in our elderly.

People who had previously entered low-level residential aged care (then called hostels), are now cared for in the community. Once they enter aged care, they’re older and sicker than before, and have more complex needs. Since 2008, the number of older Australians admitted to a residential aged care facility has remained steady, but the proportion of people with high-care needs has progressively increased.

Older people needing extra help to live at home, whether that’s help with bathing, gardening, transport or physiotherapy, now have greater choice when it comes to the types of subsidised government care they receive.

From today they can change the service provider that provides their home care package, meaning they can choose a provider that better suits their needs, has better customer service, or is better value.

While added choice puts people (and their families) in a stronger position to negotiate with the current provider, not everyone can easily exercise this choice.

Kate Swaffer explains what people with dementia want from residential care, based on her own experience living with younger onset dementia, as a past care partner advocating for and supporting three people with dementia in residential care, and from feedback she’s gathered during focus groups and interviews with people with dementia around Australia

Getting the community's views and how to use them

Please note: This is a resource web page from another website in development and not intended to stand alone.  The new website will provide an in depth analysis of the aged care system and shows how the proposed Community Aged Care Hub of this site would work and resolve the many problems revealed by an analysis of the system. You will need to be familiar with the suggestion for a Community Aged Care Hub.

The section that functions as an Executive Summary and which would be adequate for many readers, is Soliciting Feedback (in Part 4).  It would be beneficial for most readers to learn about the proposed hub and then read Soliciting Feedback.  Those still interested who may want to explore a particular provider of consumer services or a particular issue, can link back to this web page.

Why is public participation important? Governments are responsible for decisions that have both intended and often unforeseen impacts on the community. Transparent and well-managed public participation is essential to fully inform government policies and their translation into effective strategies, programs and projects (1)So why is it so elusive?