Aged care providers in the Port Macquarie-Hastings have welcomed the federal government's decision for a Royal Commission into the industry.
The government is yet to provide terms of reference or timelines for the commission.
However, Wauchope-based aged care provider Bundaleer CEO Gareth Norman has congratulated the federal government on the initiative.
“We congratulate the government on this courageous decision to commit to a Royal Commission into aged Care," he said.
"As aged care providers, respect and advocacy for elders in our community is at the heart of what we do.
"We share the community’s desire to support and improve the aged care journey for older Australians; for older Australians to be able to choose from a range of quality aged care services that provide the compassionate and dignified care they need and deserve."
We are committed to constructively and transparently working and engaging with the Royal Commission and welcome the opportunity to collaborate with our residents and community members, to be curious about and connect emotionally with the experiences of our residents and clients, he said.
The Royal Commission will also provide a welcome opportunity to embrace solutions to the challenges of the industry and celebrate the positivity and innovation that is also at the heart of our industry, he said.
Another organisation to welcome the move is Catholic Care of the Aged.
CCA and Centacare general manager, Bronwyn Chalker, says she welcomes the prime minister’s announcement, which is expected to focus on residential, in-home aged care as well as young people with disabilities who live in aged care facilities.
“We welcome any initiative that seeks to ensure high quality aged care for all,” Ms Chalker said.
“The terms of reference of the Royal Commission are yet to be set but I am hopeful they will address any issues of poor quality aged care to ensure the sector as a whole is able to care adequately and compassionately for Australians as they age.
“Our facilities recently underwent unannounced audits by the federal government’s Australian Aged Care Quality Agency and we were gratified with positive feedback received,” Ms Chalker said.
Our facilities recently underwent unannounced audits by the federal government’s Australian Aged Care Quality Agency and we were gratified with positive feedback received.Bronwyn Chalker
“At St Agnes’ Parish, we strive to deliver high quality care and have an unwavering focus on continuous improvement as we keep the needs of the people we serve at the centre of what we do.”
It is important to note that the national aged care system is already undergoing significant reforms, the focus of which are on improving quality regulation, increasing informed consumer choice and control of services, and securing resourcing for growing demand for aged care services.
Charles Sturt University lecturer and researcher in the CSU School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health Associate Professor Maree Bernoth said the Royal Commission is overdue.
"The Royal Commission will be as important and revealing as the present Royal Commission into the Australian banking and finance sector," she said.
Professor Bernoth argues that the single most significant aspect of working with older people is the quality of the relationship between the older person and the person working with them.
“The space in that relationship or interaction is precious and needs to provide the quality and the expertise that is required by each individual,” she said.
“If we start by identifying what makes that relationship work, we will have a better chance of getting the aged care system functional and satisfying for the older person, their family, and those who work with them either in residential aged care or in the community.
“There are organisations who understand this relationship and have the support, encouragement and ongoing monitoring in place to enhance and grow those interactions.
“The Royal Commission is an opportunity to identify these organisations and use them as the map to move us to a sector where the individual is celebrated and supported in a sustained sector of our communities.”