Government’s new laws to improve safety for the elderly

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From next July, caregivers for elderly Australians will have to meet stricter guidelines after the Federal Government passed groundbreaking draft legislation this week.

Yesterday, the Government also announced it would provide $16 million to launch an Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

Meanwhile, the introduction of the new bill is the first comprehensive overhaul of home-care and aged-care standards in two decades.

The revision will make members of providers’ governing bodies legally responsible for the wellbeing of care customers.

Among measures being mandated is the reduction of restraints for patients with dementia.

Peak organisation Leading Age Services Association (LASA) welcomed the new legislation and establishment of a commission.

LASA chief executive Sean Rooney says the standards were a vital component of the reform agenda to drive improvements in the quality of care.

The Government will provide $50 million to the nation’s 2700 care providers to help them comply with the new guidelines over the next nine months.

Improvements have already been made to the information available on home-care packages on the My Aged Care website to help senior Australians.

An enhanced service finder now enables providers to advertise details of their costs and policies on religion, language, special needs and specialised services.

A ‘non-compliance service finder’ will allow consumers to search for any action taken against providers found to be offering substandard care.

Also updated is data on residential aged care homes that includes consumer experience reports and accreditation status.

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt said passage of the Single Aged Care Quality Framework legislation through the Parliament would intensify quality compliance across residential, home and remote care, in the first upgrade of aged care standards in 20 years.

“These new, single-quality standards have a single focus – to protect the rights of senior Australians,” Mr Wyatt said.

“Under the draft new regulations, aged care providers’ governing bodies and boards will be legally accountable for safety and quality.

“The focus will be on client care, with providers having to prove their care and services are safe, effective and customer-centred … the new standards are about ensuring there are no exceptions (to delivering exceptional care).

“The standards will protect people by placing them at the centre of care in a competitive, market-based system where consumers drive quality and red tape is reduced for residents, families and providers.”

For more information on the new guidelines, visit the Department of Health’s website.

In what way do you think care packages can be improved? Do you imagine you will one day enter an aged care facility? Have you heard of any nursing home horror stories?

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Written by Olga Galacho

20 Comments

Total Comments: 20
  1. 0
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    Without restraints our old folks will fall out of beds and chairs and break bones. Then again it will hasten their death and they can then fleece another one much faster.

    • 0
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      yep Old geezer you are right. I trained at a place that actually refused to do restraints. But there were quite a few people that really should have had them. You had to watch those few people like a hawk, and never had time to properly look after the majority of the aged care residents.
      Exactly like what my husband used to say about teaching- he said he spent 80% of his time dealing with the 20% of the kids that didn’t want to be at school. And missed helping the rest of the kids that really wanted and needed help, and where the enjoyment of teaching actually is- helping those that wanted/needed to be helped.

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      Hmm yes…. careful, OG, you Light Side is showing again with concern for others.

      leek – I did a bit of teaching assist in New Zealand when the kid’s mother was there for an extended job -and I did notice that the keen primary age kids got the attention – but the Maori kid from a dysfunctional background, who continually built and then dismantled his project, was overlooked.

      It appeared to me that he was much in need of some positive reinforcement and perhaps caring. Just saying…. it’s not an easy road.

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      Problem is teachers think they know best and will not listen to parents who know how best to handle their children. They just want them all to conform to their ideals instead. I know many parents who have angel kids at home but terrors at school due to the teachers thinking they know best.

  2. 0
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    The number of excellent advancements this government has and continues to produce for seniors is brilliant – highly commendable

  3. 0
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    Bugger. Just when I decided a live in au pair would be terrific at $240 a week and board. Of course the government wants to control it. They are dead set keen on getting at our money, assets and houses aren’t they?

  4. 0
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    Looks like better regulation of care providers.. I would like my share of the improvements in cash please.

  5. 0
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    “…reduction of restraints for patients with dementia.”
    Key word here is “reduction” not removal. Some persons with dementia are very violent. Do they get medicated instead?
    I prefer to die rather than go into care.

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      I’m with you on that last – they’ll find me strapped to the wheel of the boat in mid-ocean…

      Very hard to monitor which are the cases that need restraint and those that don’t. I’d hate to think that staff just put someone in restraint because they were testy and didn’t like the service or something… One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest…

      Been enough stories of persecution of ‘dissidents’ in retirement (strategic hamlet) villages …

    • 0
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      … or maybe I should crash the plane into Parliament House as a protest….

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      In your and Micks case Trebor , The staff would definitely put a muzzle on you guys for driving the inmates insane with your endless lefty drivel

      That’s if the inmates don’t strangle you first

    • 0
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      .. someone definitely flew over your cuckoo’s nest, olbie…. and dropped some guano….

      Dr Hannibal Trebor…. (laugh emoticon required)….

  6. 0
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    Aged Care has been going backwards since the Howard years. Before that care levels quality was assessed bt Deptl staff. Under Howard it became self monitoring of one home by another under the Aged Care Standards agency. Number of homes closed dropped to virtually zero.

    Before Howard most States had staff ratios in regulations. These were allowed to lapse under these changes. At that time there were not diversional therapists to help care for people with dementia. These should be included in staff ratios.

    Just one other failure from Howard. A lot of work was done in designing for dementia that overcame restraints by diverting people and adjusting bed heights. Criminal lawyers advised that restraint was actually assualt.

    One other thing that was done was financial monitoring. Currently profit level ROI is far more excessive than care funding.

    • 0
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      Well said, Big Kev.

      The use of many things is assault – the exercise of Law is an assault…. it’s only justification being that it be used entirely in the prosecution of a genuine offence…. beyond that there be dragons……

      Some here seem to accuse me of being some kind of rabid socialist…. and yet I oppose daily the kind of use of Law by the rabid socialist kind – who imagine that using the Law as a blunt instrument will solve all their problems.

      Speaking of such – you see the self-same in those who, under Costello law, have benefited from various tax avoidance and riches enhancement schemes….. they also imagine that Law is there for their use for their own ends, same as the Ultra-socialists.

      On a lighter side – I await the advent of the next round of the Fem Wars once Labrador – that Labor tamed by feminists etc – takes the helm.

      No wonder I’m writing a rather prescient book series on WW IV – Fem Wars.

      I simply cannot train fools…..

  7. 0
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    Just while we’re here ….. is there anyone else who would like to see something like a steady and positive government following an election – for the allotted time of 3 point something years – without going through the same old, same old :-

    “punish ’em… beat ’em up …. cry poor ….. s\find desperate budget measures needed …..”

    for the first 2 point something years…. followed by:-

    “ah.. you know.. things weren’t really that bad… and we’re nice guys… let me give you some pork out of the barrel”….

    Why can’t a government elect actually manage the economy and the nation and the social issues and the budget WHILE they are there for nearly four years – instead of playing the same old game over and over?

    Why can’t they just do their job without all this bullshit?

  8. 0
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    why did it take 20 years and public opinion before this PM on his last legs decided to foist a royal commission on us? why can’t we just have independent audits with efficiency and effectiveness focuses? might be cheaper. and then impose penalties instead of throwing more money at them to implement and educate themselves about best ethical and moral practice?


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