The Aged Care Royal Commission’s Final Report was released by the Government yesterday.
It details the foundations for a new aged care system that goes well beyond the concepts of Government being responsible for older Australians in the last years of their lives. Instead, it talks to the rights of older people to receive aged care on their terms.
For village operators, who offer an age-appropriate home plus social inclusion, backed up by support staff, the report is tailor-made.
Kicking off the 148 recommendations is:
Recommendation 1: A new Act (1 July 2023)
The new Act should define aged care as: a. support and care for people to maintain their independence as they age, including support and care to ameliorate age-related deterioration in their social, mental and physical capacities to function independently b. supports, including respite for informal carers of people receiving aged care.
The objects of the new Act should be to: a. provide a system of aged care based on a universal right to high quality, safe and timely support and care to: i. assist older people to live an active, self-determined and meaningful life, and ii. ensure older people receive high quality care in a safe and caring environment for dignified living in old age.
Simply put, if a village resident wants to stay in their village home and, with the dignity of risk, receive their care in their village home, the Government must support this.
This is verified in Recommendation 2 and 3:
Recommendation 2: Rights of older people receiving aged care
The new Act should specify a list of rights of people seeking and receiving aged care, and should declare that the purposes of the Act include the purpose of securing those rights and that the rights may be taken into account in interpreting the Act and any instrument made under the Act.
Recommendation 3: Key principles
vii. to the fullest extent possible, older people should receive support and care in the location they choose or, where that is not possible, in the setting most appropriate to their circumstances and preferences
viii. older people are entitled to receive support and care that acknowledges the aged care setting is their home and enables them to live in security, safety and comfort with their privacy respected.
All up, we have counted 38 recommendations that go to supporting retirement villages being a significant housing resource that can be engaged by Government. We will be discussing these in detail within the next two weeks.
We have also engaged the speakers at the LEADERS SUMMIT to work through the legal, financial and building requirements to make this sector opportunity a reality.
Fast tracking the opportunity
We draw readers’ attention to the dates being set by the Commissioners. Where the Government was thinking of 10 years for a transition of the aged care system, the Commissioners want a maximum of five.
To drive this home, they have set a new Aged care Act to be in place within two years:
To give a taste of the short-term potential for village operators, the Commissioners want serious respite for carers to be in place within 15 months.
Villages with assisted living accommodation can argue villages are a far more positive environment to offer respite for carers than an aged care facility – and operators can have access to Government funding.
The Commissioners also see opportunities to fund activities that residents in villages already receive plus new technologies that can go into a village home more efficiently than most homes.
New National Cabinet – potential to streamline development programs
The Commissioners also appreciate that a federal/state/local government working group is required to achieve its vision. This includes housing:
Recommendation 4: Integrated long-term support and care for older people
The Australian Government should coordinate the development of an integrated system for the long-term support and care of older people providing for their needs for welfare support, community services directed at enhancing social participation, affordable and appropriate housing, high quality health care, and aged care.
This should be achieved through a new National Cabinet Reform Committee on Ageing and Older Australians, to be established between the Australian and State and Territory Governments, and composed of the highest-ranking ministers whose primary responsibility is the care, health and wellbeing of older people.
Ours is a quick analysis of the 148 recommendations, and we thank the fast work done by Ansell Strategic in generating a compilation report. You can download a copy HERE.
If you would like to receive our full analysis of the recommendations for the village sector, available over the next 14 days, email me at Chris.Baynes@thedcmgroup.com.au.
And join 40 CEOs unpacking all the recommendations and the impact on your business at the LEADERS SUMMIT, now in every capital city 18 & 19 March.
This is an unrivalled opportunity for the retirement village sector.