In a recent submission to the Aged Care Legislated Review, National Seniors said there was a need for improved information to consumers to enable them to make better choices, including how to choose a provider, particularly as their capacity diminished.
The submission, which drew on a survey of almost 5,000 members, demonstrated strong support for consumer choice and flexibility and the need for greater control over care.
However, there was scepticism about further deregulation of the aged care sector increasing choice, with members voicing ongoing fears about the availability of aged care services in rural or regional locations.
The submission also showed that older people want government controls to remain in place to maintain equitable access to aged care services.
National Seniors has argued that moves to dismantle processes used to allocate places could undermine equity and should only be undertaken with caution and with adequate support and safeguards for equity.
The submission also relays members’ almost unanimous view that government should continue to guarantee lump sum accommodation payments, such as bonds.
Ultimately, members want to see ongoing improvement in service quality and assurances from government that aged care services will be available when they are needed.