Quality in aged care – there’s been a lot of talk about that lately, and it’s your right to receive a high standard of care once you move into an aged care facility. To that end, the Australian Government has developed the Aged Care Quality Standards, that require all aged care facilities to meet a high standard of service and care to their residents.
So, what exactly are the Aged Care Quality Standards in 2023, and what do they mean for you? Let’s find out.
The Aged Care Quality Standards
There are eight Aged Care Quality Standards currently in place, which define what good care in an aged care facility should look like. These standards outline the level of care and service that we as a community should be able to expect aged care providers to consistently deliver.
If aged care facilities don’t deliver on these standards, there are naturally consequences.
Each aged care facility must undergo a process called accreditation, which is an internationally recognised evaluation process used to assess whether facilities are meeting the required standards. If so, the facility will be recognised for their performance; if not, the facility will be required to improve their performance.
Based on an assessment by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, each aged care facility is rated using a four-bar system. If the facility meets all the requirements, they will receive four bars; if most requirements are met, they will receive three bars; if some requirements are met, they will receive two bars, and if only a few requirements are met, they will receive one bar.
This is a useful tool for allowing potential residents to assess the quality of an aged care home and decide whether they want to receive care in that facility.
To see an aged care home’s performance against the quality standards, go to the ‘Find a Provider’ tool on the My Aged Care website: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/find-a-provider. Find the provider you are interested in and go to the Compliance section of their profile to see how well they are meeting the quality standards.
Which brings us to the actual quality standards. They are:
- Consumer dignity and choice. For you, this means that you will always be treated with dignity and respect, can make informed choices about your care and services, can maintain your personal identity and live the life you choose.
- Ongoing assessment and planning. This means that rather than being a passive receiver, you will be involved in ongoing assessment and planning for your care, that will help you access the care and services you need for your health and wellbeing.
- Personal care and clinical care. This means that the personal and/or clinical care you receive is right for you, and safe.
- Services and supports for daily living. This means that you are able to receive the services and daily living support that you need for your health and wellbeing, and that enable you to do the things you want to do.
- Organisation’s service environment. This means that you will feel safe and comfortable in your facility’s service environment, and feel like you belong.
- Feedback and complaints. This one means that you feel you are able to complain or give feedback without negative repercussions. You should feel safe, supported and encouraged to give feedback or make complaints, and engaged in the process of addressing your issues. Appropriate action to address your complaints should also be taken.
- Human resources. This means that the care and services you need are provided by people who are capable, knowledgeable and caring.
- Organisational governance. This means you should feel confident that the organisation is well run and managed, and be a partner in improving the delivery of services and care.
You should feel confident that the care you are receiving is meeting these quality standards. Have a look at a high-quality aged care facility that does here: https://www.finleyregionalcare.com.au