The Royal Commission into Aged Care starting today is to cover primarily the quality of care provided to older Australians, and the extent of any sub-standard care for the elderly.

First some statistics:

  • Currently there are 3.8 million Australians older than 65 – that’s 15% of the population.
  • Aged care costs the Commonwealth Government $20 billion per year at the moment and is rapidly rising.
  • On current projections the Government’s contribution to the costs of aged care will outstrip the cost of Medicare within 10 years.
  • In under 10 years there will be over 5 million people over 65 (18% of the population).
  • By 2040 there will be 6.5 million people over 65 (20% of the population).
  • These people are serviced by 902 residential care providers, 702 home care providers, and 1621 home support providers.
  • Half of the aged care providers are not for profit operations.
  • Only three aged care providers are listed on the stock market, and 63% operate only one residential home.

The aged care industry is massive, and will only get bigger, but is spread across a vast array of service providers (big and small) who provide a wide and varied range of service quality.

The media has been full of horror stories about the lack of care, and sometimes downright abuse of people in aged care. People are entitled to be confident that when they drive away from visiting their loved ones in an aged care facility they will be safe, and well cared for in the place where they now live.  Sadly that is not always the case, and the Royal Commission will be focusing on the quality of care, and hopefully ridding the industry of shoddy and sub-standard operators and care providers.

Elderly people are amongst the most defenceless in our society, and they need a voice, and protection, in their later years.

Too many aged care aged nursing homes have failed in their basic duty of care to provide a safe and secure environment for older Australians to spend their twilight years in peace and dignity.

It is our sincere hope that the Royal Commission will not simply be a “talk fest” but will come up with considered, systemic recommendations to ensure the highest quality care for our elderly Australians.

Brisbane Elder Law are experts in the fields of Wills, Estates, Guardianship, Retirement Home Contracts, Estate Disputes and all Elder Law Issues.  For more information contact Don Macpherson on 1800961622.