Choosing good residential care for an ageing parent just got easier thanks to the AACQA consumer experience reports.

AACQA

Many working carers who care for an ageing parent will eventually face the difficult decision of deciding between continuing care within the home and moving to residential care.

Given the horrific stories that regularly surface in the media, both parent and child will naturally be determined to get the most reliable information possible about a facility before making that choice.

Sifting through the sea of marketing materials to find real, reliable information has not been easy. But now the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA) has launched a new series of consumer experience reports to help people choose a good-quality aged care facility, with the hope of empowering ageing Australians and their carers.

The AACQA website notes that “When a team of surveyors from the Quality Agency visit an aged care home to perform re-accreditation as part of an audit, they interview at least 10 per cent of those living in the home.” The interview findings make up the new reports, which aim to “provide consumer information on the quality of care and services in the home from the people who live there.”

Questions in the consumer evidence reports include:

  • Do staff treat you with respect?
  • Do you feel safe here?
  • Do staff meet your healthcare needs?
  • Do you think the staff know what they are doing?
  • Do you think the place is well run?
  • Do you like the food here?

The reports, recently launched by the Minister for Aged Care, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, are aimed at informing choices by providing consumers with clear and accessible information.

In an AACQA media release (18 August 2017) CEO Nick Ryan said the development of the Consumer Experience Report has involved a wide range of stakeholders, from consumer groups to academics and aged care providers.

“Each year our assessors speak to almost 55,000 residents and their families, about their experience living in aged care. We wanted to find a better way of capturing this information and presenting it in a way that is useful and meaningful for people looking at moving into aged care,” Mr Ryan said.

“The consumer experience report marks a turning point in the way we report on an aged care home’s performance. Along with the audit report, we have designed an interview that captures a snapshot of the consumer’s experience in an individual aged care home. We wanted to ensure the voice of all consumers, particularly those living with dementia, are heard and included.”

More information is available on the Quality Agency’s website: www.aacqa.gov.au/publications/consumer-experience-reports.