What the new Aged Care Act may mean for you

The new Aged Care Act will impact everyone who accesses or delivers aged care. Read about the key changes it will bring for older people and aged care providers and workers.

The implementation of a new rights-based Aged Care Act is a significant change for the aged care sector.

Key changes delivered by the new Act will impact everyone who accesses or delivers aged care services.

Key changes for older people

  • Older people will be aware of their rights and can seek to have them upheld.
  • Older people will be able to appoint a supporter or representative who must comply with supported decision-making principles.
  • There will be new eligibility criteria for an aged care needs assessment. Younger people who are not already in the aged care system will no longer be able to access aged care services.
  • First Nations people or people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness aged 50 to 64 years will be formally recognised as younger people needing access to aged care early due to their specific life experiences.
  • Older people approved for permanent residential care will be allocated a place (not a provider).
  • The Statement of Rights, streamlined obligations and strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards will make it clear what older people can expect from providers and aged care workers.
  • People accessing services under the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care (NATSIFAC) Program or Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) will have same regulatory protections as other aged care programs.
  • New complaints arrangements will facilitate access to restorative outcomes, and older people who make a complaint will be protected from reprisal action.
  • Compensation will be available where a serious injury or illness results from a breach of duties by registered providers or responsible people following a criminal conviction.

Key changes for aged care providers

Key changes for aged care workers

  • The Statement of Rights will include a right for individuals to have services delivered by aged care workers of registered providers who have appropriate qualifications, skills and experience.
  • The Statement of Principles will say that the aged care system should support workers to:
    •  be empowered to support innovation, continuous improvement and the delivery of high-quality care
    • participate in governance and accountability mechanisms.
  • Workers will have increased protections through the expanded whistleblower protections.
  • Workers must fulfil and comply with revised worker screening arrangements.
Date last updated:

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