When it comes time to start thinking about aged care, the quality of care that providers offer and how well our needs will be met are often a leading concern. We might wonder “what does quality care look like in residential aged care and what can I expect from an aged care provider?”
Aged care providers across Australia are required to comply with the Aged Care Quality Standards. These Standards are publicly available and reflect the level of care and services that we, as a community, can expect from aged care providers.
What are the Aged Care Quality Standards?
The Aged Care Quality Standards are the governing framework defining what level of care aged care facilities should provide. All government funded aged care providers, whether they provide residential aged care or deliver care in the home, are required to comply with the Aged Care Quality Standards.
There are eight Quality Standards that the community, the service providers and the government have agreed to, which came into effect in July 2019. The level of care and services expected from aged care providers are reflected in these Standards. Ultimately, the standards are a framework which assist the Government to monitor whether our elderly are being cared for and if their individual needs are being met.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission manages the process to ensure the Aged Care Quality Standards are being met.
What is the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission responsible for?
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is responsible for independently accrediting, assessing and monitoring government subsidised aged care services.
They work with providers, promoting best practice and supporting them to comply with the Quality Standards. They are also the primary point of contact for aged care consumers and providers in all matters relating to safety and quality.
Within this regulatory role, the Commission works to both protect and enhance the health, well-being, safety and quality of life of those receiving aged care.
At Aged Care Decisions, we can help you find quality residential and home care. We are a 100% free placement and support service and using our extensive provider network, we can match you with the right care providers to suit your needs. Click here to get in touch and learn more.
Aged Care Reviews can also help. Aged Care Reviews is an online resource providing honest feedback on aged care providers in Australia. Click here to start using the online tool.
What are the eight Aged Care Quality Standards?
All of the eight Aged Care Quality Standards contain a ‘consumer outcome’ stating what each recipient of care can expect, an ‘organisation statement’ explaining what the organisation (provider) does to meet the outcome and ‘requirements’ that detail how the organisation is meeting the outcome.
The Aged Care Quality Standards and what they mean for you are:
- Consumer dignity and choice
- I am treated with dignity and respect, and can maintain my identity. I can make informed choices about my care and services, and live the life I choose.
- Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers
- I am a partner in my own care assessment and planning, which helps me get the care and services I need for my health and well-being.
- Personal care and clinical care
- I get personal care, clinical care, or both personal care and clinical care, that is safe and right for me.
- Services and supports for daily living
- I get the services and supports for daily living that are important for my health and well-being and that enable me to do the things I want to do.
- Organisation’s service environment
- I feel I belong and I am safe and comfortable in the organisation’s service environment.
- Feedback and complaints
- I feel safe and am encouraged and supported to give feedback and make complaints. I am engaged in processes to address my feedback and complaints, and appropriate action is taken.
- Human resources
- I get quality care and services when I need them from people who are knowledgeable, capable and caring.
- Organisational governance
- I am confident the organisation is well run. I can partner in improving the delivery of care and services.
Each Standard relates to an aspect of care, contributing to your health, safety and well-being. The graphic at this link illustrates the Standards and their consumer outcomes.
For more detailed information on all of the Quality Standards including the Consumer Outcomes, Organisation Statements and Requirements, please click here.
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How are aged care providers assessed against the Aged Care Quality Standards?
Aged care providers need to demonstrate to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission that they meet the Standards. The Commission assess providers with visits to the organisation, quality reviews and through feedback coming from those receiving the care and services.
Another key component of regulating residential aged care services is accreditation. Residential aged care services MUST be accredited to receive financial subsidies from the government. The accreditation process assesses the quality of care and services delivered by the providers against the Quality Standards.
In addition to this, at least once every three years, a quality review is conducted. This involves an onsite quality audit, an audit report and a performance report and is undertaken to determine how the quality of services are being delivered against the Quality Standards.
What do the Aged Care Quality Standards mean for me?
Knowing about the Aged Care Quality Standards and how they work is an important step toward understanding how care providers deliver their services, what can be expected and what good care should look like.
How do I find aged care facilities that meet the Quality Standards?
At Aged Care Decisions, we use our extensive provider network to help you find the right aged care service for you. We are a fast, free and independent service that can provide a customised list of aged care options that match your care needs. Our team of placement specialists can also guide you through the process, providing personalised service to ensure you receive relevant information and advice. Click here or call us on 1300 775 870 to access our free service.
To conduct more research on whether an aged care facility you are interested in meets the Quality Standards, you can view their profile on the My Aged Care site. An aged care home’s performance against each of the Quality Standards is given a rating out of 4. Using the Find a Provider tool, you can view a provider’s rating against each Standard. Click here to search for aged care homes and within a provider’s profile, go to the Quality section to view their ratings.
You can also use the Non-Compliance Checker to see providers who have been issued non-compliance notices.
How else can I determine if an aged care facility is delivering exceptional care?
The Aged Care Reviews website is an online aged care community established to support Australians in deciding on care options for themselves or loved ones. You can read reviews left by families that have experience with your chosen facility. This can help determine if a provider is going to be the right fit for your needs. You can also leave a review in order to help other families. To look at Aged Care Reviews for facilities near you, click here.
It is also common to take a tour of potential residential care facilities to see what they offer firsthand and how they go about meeting the Aged Care Quality Standards. Aged Care Decisions can help arrange tours of aged care homes including providing a check list of things to look out for.
Our service is 100% free so if you’re wanting to learn more about the Quality Standards or receive assistance in choosing an aged care home, please click here or call us on 1300 775 870.