Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt this week launched the report Older and Wiser: Putting the Consumer's Voice at the Centre of Residential Aged Care.
Based on a study that explored the impact of consumer directed care (CDC) on six aged care facilities in Melbourne, the report highlights what needs to be done to support this dramatic change to aged care services in Australia.
Issues highlighted in the report include the need for more workforce training, job restructuring, greater empowerment of residential aged care facility workers, and strong leadership by managers of residential aged care facilities.
ACU’s Institute for Health and Ageing Director Professor Marita McCabe said consumer directed care was an opportunity to better meet the needs of older Australians, but more planning and preparation was needed.
“Australia needs a residential aged care sector that can better tailor services to meet the individual needs of older people,” Professor McCabe said.
“With an estimated 76,000 new residential aged care facilities required by 2023-24, it’s important change happens now to ensure the aged care sector is prepared for the ‘silver tsunami’.
“However, for this important shift to be successful more support is needed from government and industry for greater workforce training, as well as education for older Australians and their families who are making decisions about residential aged care.”
From 27 February this year, older people living at home have been able to change aged care providers if they wish, or if they move to another area to live. For those who make the change, the funding for their aged care services package is transferred to their new provider.