Most responses to the Australian Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (2021) have characterised it as an important and ground-breaking publication with the potential to effect real change in the provision of aged care and its oversight.
While acknowledging this potential, this paper strives to take a more realistic and critical approach to the Royal Commission’s resolutions by responding to its three main findings
and in doing so explains Better Place Australia’s (BPA) position on the current situation regarding older Australians and their care.
As a result of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact and focus on older people, Australia has recently invested significant focus on senior’s rights, needs and risks. Both these events demonstrated that there are many dangers older Australian’s face as citizens, consumers and individuals that cannot be quickly and/or easily addressed through legislative or organisational change.
The main issue that informs national responses to older people is ageism. Ageism combines socially and culturally sanctioned stereotypes with individual and collective prejudice and
discrimination to negatively impact the health, wellbeing, visibility, and rights of older people.
We here at Better Place Australia argue that ageism has allowed for the creation and perpetuation of a broken aged care system and social marginalisation of older people; and
that this culture must be addressed and alleviated to affect the meaningful legislative, service provision, regulatory and self-determination changes recommended by the Royal Commissions and necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic.