Australia’s aged-care system is failing to meet the care needs of the vast majority of those using it despite overwhelming public support for quality aged care, a new study has shown, The New Daily reports.
Less than one in four (24 per cent) of Australians in residential care feel their care needs are always met, and just one in five (20 per cent) in home care, the research paper by Flinders University’s Caring Futures Institute said.
The share of aged-care recipients who feel their needs are at least ‘mostly’ met across all key aspects of care was just 58 per cent for residential care and 50 per cent for home care.
The research was released before the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s final report on February 26, which is expected to deliver recommendations for fundamental reform of aged care.
The landmark study analysed data from national surveys conducted on behalf of the royal commission last year, and found that comprehensive change to the system is needed.
Lead author and Flinders University professor of health economics Julie Ratcliffe said researchers distilled six elements that are key to quality aged care. They are:
- The aged-care recipient should always be treated with respect and dignity
- They have a right to make their own decisions
- Aged-care staff have appropriate skills and training
- The recipient is supported with their daily living activities to promote health and wellbeing
- The recipient should be supported to maintain their social relationships and connections with the community
- The recipient and their family should have the ability to lodge complaints with knowledge that appropriate action will be taken.
The National Ageing Research Institute then surveyed older Australians receiving home and residential care and found that for the vast majority of people those six criteria were not being met in all instances, and for one in two the criteria were not being met most of the time.