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With the Royal Commission into Aged Care now underway, now is an opportune time for us all to think about what aged care should look like in Australia.

While reports of abuse and neglect will come out (as they should) it’s also an opportunity to design an aged care system that better supports all of us.

Royal Commission terms of reference

 The Royal Commission into Aged Care’s terms of reference will cover the following:

  • Quality and safety including the extent of substandard care
  • How to best deliver care services to people with disabilities residing in aged care facilities, including younger people
  • How to best deliver care to the increasing number of Australians living with dementia
  • The future challenges and opportunities for delivering accessible, affordable and high quality aged care services, including people’s desire to remain living at home as they age, and aged care in rural, regional and remote Australia
  • What the Government, the aged care sector, Australian families and the wider community can do to strengthen care services to ensure quality and safety
  • How to allow people greater choice, control and independence and how to improve engagement with families and carers
  • How to best deliver sustainable aged care services through innovative care and investment in the aged care workforce and infrastructure
  • Any matters that the Commissioners believe are relevant to their inquiry

How the Royal Commission into aged care could help us develop a better aged care system

At the moment many people see aged care as a last resort, something to be feared and avoided at all costs. However, many of us will need aged care at some point in our lives (either for a family member or for ourselves) so could this avoidance strategy be part of the problem?

As part of its inquiry, the Royal Commission will be exploring how aged care can give people greater choice, control and independence and how this can be better delivered across Australia.

Making a submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care

The Royal Commission will be accepting submissions from interested people and institutions and The Royal Commissioners Honourable Justice Joseph McGrath and Ms Lynelle Briggs AO will be required to provide an interim report by 31 October 2019, and a final report by 30 April 2020.

If you’d like to keep up-to-date or make a submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care, visit the website.

What would you like aged care to look like?

So while the Royal Commission will investigate aged care issues from a higher level with input from aged care operators, residents and staff, maybe it’s time we ask some of the same questions of ourselves. If you could design your ideal aged care experience, what would it look like? What would you choose as your highest priorities?

You might want:

  • Care that’s high quality that fits your schedule
  • To bring your pet with you
  • To keep your independence by living life your way
  • To stay together with your loved one
  • A place where you can try new things and socialise with like-minded people
  • To remain in your chosen apartment and not have to move again
  • A safe and secure environment where you could come and go as you please
  • Your own apartment surrounded by your favourite things

We want to hear from you

You might want something else entirely and we’d love to hear it – send your suggestions on what aged care should look like to us via email or Facebook. We’d love to collate your responses into a future blog post.

It is possible to have aged care delivered how you would like it – we don’t have to accept average care and now is the time to stand up and tell people what we want and how we would like to live in our old age.

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Nick Loudon
Nick Loudon is Group Chief Executive Officer of Seasons Aged Care and a Board Director of Leading Age Services Australia (LASA). Nick has more than 35 years clinical and executive management experience in the hospital and aged care sector and believes passionately that advanced age is not a ‘disease’. His vision is that aged care with a focus on quality of life and respect for the choices of our elders can be delivered in any location.