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Older people

Many older people have, or will develop, impaired decision-making ability because of a range of conditions and circumstances, one of which is dementia. Impaired decision-making ability, and related conditions, are among the principal reasons why older people enter the aged care system, either accessing personal and care services at home or moving into residential aged care facilities.

Widespread concerns associated with the structure, management, and operation of the aged care sector in Australia led to a Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which concluded in 2021.

The final report of the Royal Commission, tabled in the Australian Parliament on 1 March 2021, included 148 wide-ranging recommendations to drive reform of the aged care system over the next decade.

This means that change will be a continuing feature of the aged care sector for the short to medium term. In this environment, it will be important that any changes that are delivered consider the wishes and preferences of older people who receive care services, and that they provide appropriate safeguards and uphold the fundamental human rights of care recipients.