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How you can keep up-to-date with aged care reforms

Current aged care reform can be difficult to follow. Here’s a simple guide to the changes you need to know.

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Since the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, National Seniors has played a vital part in the reforms.

Our CEO, Professor John McCallum, was one of the first witnesses at the royal commission hearings, making four appearances and giving phone evidence at least ten times.

Our submissions

Key points

  • Reforms to the aged care system are underway but are hard to follow.
  • This guide to available resources helps you be informed about the reform process.
  • You can contribute to ongoing reform – follow the guide.

National Seniors contributed written submissions to the Royal Commission.

You can read our major submission on the redesign of the aged care system titled Aged care program redesign: Services for the future.

Another important submission was additional material we made to the Counsel Assisting the Commissioners.

Read our submission on how downsizing promotes home care.

National Seniors’ active role

We continue to represent your interests by participating in Commonwealth Department of Health Consumer Reference Groups that deal with diverse aspects of aged care reform.

We are helping to design the tools the Consumer Reference Groups use to involve older Australians in reforming aged care.

Professor McCallum was appointed to the Council of Elders when it formed earlier this year.

Our members are at the centre of our submissions and ongoing contribution to the reforms. A special thanks to our members who provided their input into the two surveys we conducted in 2021.

In all these activities, we do our best to ensure the reforms bring about the improved aged care system you want.

What changes has the government made so far?

You can keep up to date with the reform program over the next few years via government websites.

Timeline of changes

The government has undertaken major actions since the Royal Commission’s report. The government webpage, Changing aged care for the better presents the changes made so far on a year-by-year timeline. It also includes projected changes and aspirations for the next three years, so you can see what lies ahead.

Reform impacts by theme

If you are interested in reading about the practical significance of the reform program for aged care consumers (us!), read How aged care will change for you.  

It lists major reforms under five themes:

  • supporting people from diverse backgrounds and experiences
  • home care
  • residential care
  • aged care workforce and
  • aged care governance

The details of each reform topic are in a linked document, so you can hone in on the reforms that matter most to you and download a fact sheet about each.

Have your say on change

You can get involved in further government consultation and action. The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care Get involved web page hosts regular opportunities to have your say. Also, you can sign up for email alerts about new engagement activities.  

Results of consumer consultations

If you are interested in the practical impacts consumer engagement activities have had on the reform process, read the blog, Let's change aged care together.  

Technical reviews

For those who like to sink their teeth into the technical details, the webpage, Aged care reforms and reviews, is for you. This page links to higher-level documents about the aged care system and reform ideas, including analyses, strategies, standards, legislation, funding instruments and more.  

Current status of aged care

If you are more interested in the current state of play in the aged care sector rather than reform processes, visit the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission page. The Commission is a continuing independent statutory agency established to monitor aged care quality and safety.

Part of its role is to hear consumer complaints. You can make a complaint via the Commission website if you have experienced poor quality aged care. You can also find detailed audits and reports on aged care provider quality. An easy-to-understand scorecard for each aged care facility is available at the Find a provider menu on the My Aged Care website.

Royal Commission documents

The Royal Commission’s Final Report and other publications are where you can read public submissions and consultation activities during the royal commission’s operations. The site provides the historical context of the current reform program.  

Government response to the Royal Commission

The Australian Government’s initial response to the Royal Commission’s final report is a record of changes the government said it would make.  

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