Submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care

In September 2019, Seniors Rights Service published our Submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which addressed how the failure to protect the rights of older people has resulted in substandard residential and in-home care services.

We presented evidence of fundamental imbalances of power between the aged care system and the older person, looking at the institutional systems and practices that work against older people such as unfair contracts and inadequate legislative protections. Our submission argued that where existing power rebalancing mechanisms are generally underutilised, further efforts are needed to apply these mechanisms to their fullest extent to protect seniors’ rights.

A number of recommendations were made to address these issues, focusing on additional mandatory training for aged care staff and volunteers, making improvements to review and compliance processes and organisational transparency, ensuring better access to legal remedies and statutory protections for older people, and increasing public awareness of issues of elder abuse.

In addition to our own submission, our organisation also contributed to six other submissions in collaboration with such organisations as OPAN and Elder Rights Advocacy, discussing issues of aged care in rural and remote areas, abuse of older people, special needs in aged care and access to aged care by people living with HIV.

You can read our submission here.