Minister confirms implementation of aged care reforms

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The federal government has announced the implementation of aged care reforms designed to raise standards across the sector.

Aged care minister Richard Colbeck said these comprehensive reforms are designed to protect and improve the lives of seniors in care.

“Senior Australians must have choice and flexibility in the care they receive and it should be really easy to understand what they can expect from their aged care service. This is why our Government has delivered these new Aged Care Quality Standards,” said minister Colbeck.

“Today is the first upgrade to residential aged care standards in 20 years. The new Standards will improve transparency for senior Australians and their families, as well as making regulation clearer for providers.

“The Standards are centred on the needs of senior Australians and provide a solid foundation for providers’ continuous improvement.”

The Standards will apply to all government-funded aged care services including residential care, home care, flexible care and services under the Commonwealth Home Support Program.

A new Charter of Aged Care Rights enshrining 14 rights for senior Australians in care has also taken effect. 

Minister Colbeck said the government has also moved to minimise the use of restraints by strengthening the regulations that apply to the use of physical and chemical restraints in aged care homes.

“Senior Australians must be treated with dignity and respect – this is now explicitly set out in our law,” he said.

“These regulations also mean that restraints must be a last resort. Aged Care providers must now satisfy a number of conditions before physical and chemical restraints can be used.”

Government-funded aged care are also required to comply with the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program.

According to Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner, Janet Anderson, “The new Standards reflect contemporary best practice and current community views appropriate for all aged care settings.”