Aged care residents given a voice

Australian aged care residents are sharing their experiences of life in residential homes and shaping the future of the sector, thanks to a research team from La Trobe University.

The Australian Institute for Primary Care & Ageing at La Trobe conducted extensive research on behalf of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA) that has supported the agency in producing new Consumer Experience Reports.

The reports include responses to questions that the La Trobe team developed such as “Do you feel safe here?” and “Do you like the food here?”

La Trobe’s Professor Yvonne Wells, Dr Angela Herd and Dr Deirdre Fetherstonhaugh ran a pilot study in March this year to test the questions on residents at 10 aged care homes in Sydney, Melbourne and Launceston.

“The pilot study found that Consumer Experience Reports are a feasible way to gather information on the experience of people living in residential aged care facilities,” Professor Wells said.

“We identified 12 questions for  AACQA to ask residents  as part of the accreditation process, including how well staff –meet their healthcare needs, whether they feel safe, what they think of the food and how they would improve the home.

“These questions are designed to allow residents to share their personal experiences on key aspects of their care, either directly or through a representative.

“It gives residents a stronger voice and allows other consumers to make informed choices about aged care.

“Providers can also use the information to identify opportunities for improving the experiences of residents.  .”

AACQA will officially launch the new Consumer Experience Reports at its Better Practice Conference this week.

Professor Yvonne Wells will attend the conference on behalf of the Australian Institute for Primary Care & Ageing team.

Media Contact Anastasia Salamastrakis 0428 195 464

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