The Royal Commission and your village

Over the last week the DCMI has been busy field questions from participants about the Royal Commission into Aged Care.

The big question is, “What does the Royal Commission mean to me as a village professional?”

The answer is short and sweet in the main – the immediate impact is little. But expect change over time.

The retirement living sector may see further innovation in models and offerings. Potentially, this means residents being encouraged and supported to age in place in your village.

The Retirement Living Council has identified six key themes in the recommendations that are likely to be significant for professional in retirement living.

These are key, and worth mulling over in detail:

1. Enshrining independence in a new Act and through funding to support people choosing to live independently at home, including:

a) a recommendation for a new grant funded assistive technology and home modification category within the aged care program by 1 July 2022.
b) a recommendation for a new care at home category by 1 July 2024, which would sit alongside a residential aged care category, and provide funding for a person receiving care at home that is no more than the funding amount that would be made available to provide care for them if they were assessed for care at a residential aged care service.

2. Improving public awareness of the resources available to assist people to plan for ageing and potential aged care needs, taking into consideration health care preferences, finances, housing and social engagement.

3. A call for employee organisations, government and employers to apply for an increase in award wages paid under the Aged Care Award 2010, the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 and the Nurses Award 2010.

4. Introducing a national registration scheme for the personal care workforce, with a mandatory minimum qualification of a Certificate III and a proposal that the National Cabinet Health Council determines whether to regulate the occupation of ‘personal care worker (health)’ or ‘assistant in nursing’ under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme, established and governed under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.

5. It was recommended a new National Cabinet Reform Committee on Ageing and Older Australians be placed on the National Cabinet agenda. The aim is to open the avenues needed for holistic attention to be given to the current patchwork of arrangements across housing, welfare, retirement income policy, health and aged care, but will elevate the status and enhance the rights of older people in the eyes of the community.

6. Further work to be done on how to finance/fund aged care, with the Commissioners expressing different recommendations on how to proceed.

In the short term, expect little impact in your day-to-day role.

However, long-term there may be a requirement to have knowledge and understanding of how to access support, research and information that assist residents to Age in Place.

The demands may be heightened, and village professionals will need to consider the impact of residents staying longer in your village from a financial, social and resource-demand perspective.

As always, the DCM Institute will be there every step of the way with advice, information and resources to assist you in this process.

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