Dementia Australia welcomes the new Charter of Aged Care Rights and Aged Care Quality Standards, both which came into effect on July 1, as a reinforcement of the commitment by governments and the aged care industry to focus more strongly on consumer choice and engagement.
The new charter and standards will benefit people living with dementia, their families and carers.
The Charter of Aged Care Rights states that people receiving Australian Government funded aged care have the right to safe and high quality care and services, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to have their identity, culture, and diversity valued and supported.
The new standards place consumers at the centre of their care and focus on giving people greater choice and flexibility, as well as making it easier for consumers, their families and carers to understand regulation and what can be expected from a service.
These are welcome announcements but people living with dementia, their families and carers tell us there is more to be done in interpreting the standards as they relate to quality dementia care.
More than half of residents living in residential aged care have a diagnosis of dementia and they tend to have much higher care needs than residents who do not have dementia, and approximately 70 per cent of people with dementia live in the community.
With the prevalence of dementia projected to increase to almost 1.1 million by 2058, it's important to have national safeguards and standards in place that protect the most vulnerable members of our community, and ensure the rights of people living with dementia and older Australians are protected.
Dementia Australia contributed to the development of the charter and standards in consultation with the government and other stakeholders.
We look forward to working with all parts of the industry to ensure the charter and standards have a meaningful impact on the health, quality of care and life outcomes for all Australians impacted by dementia.
More information on the new Charter and Standards can be found at https://agedcare.govcms.gov.au/ensuring-quality