Only around one-quarter of the people living in a residential aged care facility or receiving a home care package feel that their care needs are always met, according to new surveys by the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI). The share of people with care needs at least 'mostly' met is 39.0 percent in residential care and 32.5 percent in-home care. Care needs are met only 'sometimes', 'rarely' or 'never' for 33.4 percent of people in residential care and 44.1% in-home care. The share of people with care needs met 'sometimes', rarely' or 'never' are even higher among people who use aged care respite services.
The surveys were undertaken by the NARI for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. The findings are presented in Research Paper 13 – Inside the system: aged care residents' perspectives and Research Paper 14 – Inside the system: home and respite care clients' perspectives.
In the surveys, people identified concerns across many areas of their aged care. Aged care facility residents are most commonly concerned about staffing, which includes lack of staff, call bells not being answered, high rates of staff turnover, inadequate training, and agency staff not knowing the resident or their needs. The most common area of concern for people receiving a home care package is finance and administration, which includes lack of value-for-money, fee transparency, service coordination and rostering.
NARI's reports say many of the concerns that people have about their aged care are not raised as an official complaint or even informally because they do not think anything will change, the concerns are seen as too minor, they do not want to be a nuisance, or they are not sure who to report to. Of the concerns that are raised officially, less than 1 percent are raised with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, and less than half are resolved to the satisfaction of the care recipient.
The authors note that the survey results provide a benchmark that can be used to monitor the progress of aged care reforms over time and ensure public awareness is maintained.
The research paper was prepared for the information of the Royal Commission (Australia) and the public.
Any views expressed in it are not necessarily the views of the Commissioners.
To read the Royal Commission's research papers, please click publications page.