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New report shines a light into aged care system – and how it needs to change

The National Older Person Advocacy Network (OPAN) has released the first definitive public annual report of its kind to bring even more attention to the issues impacting ageing Australians within the aged care system.

It was not a surprise to discover many of the issues closely reflected those identified by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, according to OPAN CEO Craig Gear.

He pointed out that with further clarity into the continuing issues, it only added to the case for more investment into aged care and transformation of the aged care system.

OPAN found that among the top 5 issues identified in residential care – other than COVID-19 restrictions – quality of care, care planning and restrictive practices were among the biggest issues.

In contrast, Home Care Packages did not reveal any of these issues. Instead, the extended waiting periods to receive care was recognised as a key problem as more Australians looked to remain at home.

Home Care Packages also revealed challenges with the need to manage fees and charges, as well as work force shortages and the need to improve communication with providers.

Age Up Health CEO Grace Petherick congratulated OPAN on its continued work to help improve services used by ageing Australians.

“Changing the service and experience of aged care is a must,” she said. “It was witnessing my own grandparents experience that led me to launch Age Up Health, so for me it is personal.

“We are tackling all the biggest pain points we see in the sector, and reports like OPAN’s National Aged Care Advocacy Program 2020-2021 provide much needed insight and they tell me that we are on track at Age Up.”

Age Up had implemented double the care reviews than industry standards, single fee packages with no hidden costs or service limitations and were using smart, simple technologies to keep communication flowing, she explained. They also paid top rates to staff to bring the brightest and most passionate care teams to service clients.

“It’s all part of how we are working to change the conversation in aged care, and make living at home independently a viable and joyful option for older people, like my grandparents.”

Other presenting issues in advocacy case work covered in OPAN’s report included:

Read full report: https://media.accessiblecms.com.au/uploads/opan/2021/11/OPAN-NACAP-Presenting-Issues-Report-2020-2021-FINAL.pdf


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