The final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, tabled in Parliament on March 1, 2021, calls for huge changes that would have a massive positive influence on people with disability accessing aged care support.

The report, entitled Care, Dignity and Respect, calls for significant fundamental changes to the way aged care services are delivered. The Commissioners have made 148 recommendations with the final report comprising a whopping five volumes.

Of great significance to people with spinal cord injury and neurological conditions over the age of 65 who have long battled with woefully insufficient care and support funding provided through My Aged Care – at great personal, emotional and financial cost – there are a number of wide ranging recommendations that would have a profound positive impact on how supports are provided.

Most importantly, is the recommendation for equity for people with disability receiving aged care that would see users receive daily living supports and outcomes (including assistive technologies, aids and equipment) equivalent to those that are available under the NDIS to a person under the age of 65 years with the same or substantially similar conditions.

Another recommendation would see the development of access to assistive technology and home modifications across the aged care system that would fund aids and equipment to promote independence in daily living as well as providing funding for home modifications. Crucially, assistive technology support would also cover residents of aged care facilities.

Access to allied health would also be greatly improved to a level appropriate to each person’s need with the intention to maximise independence and autonomy.

The recommendations have a staged implementation timeframe over the next couple of years. Apart from the above, there is a great deal more to the recommendations that would dramatically alter and improve how services are provided in the home and across aged care facilities.

The Royal Commissioners have recommended that the Australian Government report to Parliament by 31 May, 2021 its response to their recommendations.

You can access the report and its findings on the link: https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/publications/final-report

SCIA will be prioritising this issue as part of our ongoing systemic advocacy work to ensure we do all we can to see these changes implemented as soon as possible.

Read more about our Policy and Advocacy team’s Policy Work, Submissions and Alliances here: https://scia.org.au/policy-work-submissions-and-alliances/

Our team in Alstonville and Sydney work hard to make sure that the dignity and respect of people with disabilities are maintained and they are able to access the support services they require. Read about their work in their Monthly Update: https://scia.org.au/policy-and-advocacy-monthly-update/