Aged Care Facilities in Australia.

  • Category:
    Law
  • Document type:
    Research Paper
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
  • Page:
    6
  • Words:
    3861

Aged care facilities in Australia

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate analytical study of the quality systems in Australian aged care facilities, and the need for improving

Introduction

The Australian community has great concerns for the aged people making access to high-quality care services. The need for high-quality services has been reflected in the regulatory arrangements that do consider standards of quality of the services offered in the aged care facilities in Australia. The Australian care facilities need to change their way of operating by ensuring that the aged are receiving the necessary services that can meet the needs of the aged people responsible for providing care. There are increased concerns from the families to know nature and quality of the services offered to their aged ones hence the need to ensure that the quality of services is offered. The Australian government has been working towards ensuring standardized quality systems for the aged care services (Cameron & Brownie, 2010). In Australia, there has been increasing pressure from the increased population of the aged where diversity of the added has expanded hence creating the need to ensure that there are quality systems in the provision of aged care services.

The essay is exploring the quality systems in Australian aged care facilities aiming at establishing the need for ensuring the improvement of the aged care facilities. The quality systems of the aged car facilities have been facing challenges due to the relaxed rules governing the quality standards of the aged care facilities. Therefore, there is the need for ensuring that there are quality guidelines governing the quality services that the aged care facilities in Australia do provide to the aged people and vulnerable people in Australia. The need for the quality care services has been analyzed through conducting an in-depth analysis of various literature concerning the quality offered in the aged care facilities. Therefore, this essay is aiming at ensuring that the necessary recommendations concerning the relevant improvements of the quality of services offered in the aged care facilities.

Argument

The quality systems in Australian aged care facilities need some improvements as the governance of the most of the aged care facilities and nursing homes has been reluctant to ensure quality services to the aged. Besides, there has been increased concerns for the quality of the current aged care facilities as the service offer in most of the care facilities has been of poor quality.

Discussions

There are some challenges that are being faced by aged care facilities due to poor quality systems leading to poor services to the aged people. The challenges can be associated with the increased number of the aged leading to pressure on the existing aged care facilities. In the process of responding to the increased demand for the need of the aged care facilities, quality has been compromised. There is the need for the facilities in Australia for taking care of the aged to be eligible according to the Aged Care Act of 1997 to receive the care subsidy of the federal government in Australia (Kirk, et al. 2010).The compliance to this Act is known as `accreditation requirement` where the Care facilities need accreditation from the bodies dealing with the care standards for aged and agencies for accreditation. The Accreditation Agency usually ensures that there is an improvement in the quality of the system of accreditation. The development of this system in the organization of Aged Care is always simple and easily achievable. However, there are several intangible factors which are usually involved in the process of rendering the aged care services. An example of an intangible factor is where a customer is not able to express their views concerning the quality of service they have received from the age care facilities. The inability of the aged to give their experiences in the care facilities is contributing to the increased abuse of the aged in the hands of the service providers in the care facilities. Therefore, there is the need for government to implement the regulations governing the quality of the services offered in the aged care facilities in Australia. This will play a crucial role in the process ensuring that the services offered are able to meet the expectations of the aged people where they will be in a position to feel comfortable and not abandoned. Through establishing the guidelines, the caregivers will be in a position to take their responsibilities and ensure quality services.

Aged care quality agency

The quality agencies in Australia have working towards ensuring strong governance of the aged care facilities in Australia. Besides, the agencies have been working towards ensuring that there are sustainable quality improvement strategies geared towards ensuring that the service offered to the aged are of high quality. There has been increase in the demand for ensuring high governance in the aged care facilities that do include quality management of the aged care facilities. The government has come up with some standards that has to be met for the aged care facilities to be allowed to operate. These standards do include the accreditation standards governing the establishment and operations of the aged care facilities that have played crucial role in the process of improving the quality aspects of the aged care facilities (Mitchell, Hayes & Wang, 2007). The governance agencies Australia have set the governance standards of the care facilities aiming at ensuring that management of the aged care facilities is ensuring best practices that can guarantee improvement in the quality services delivered to the aged people. Among the practices that the agencies have been advocating to be employed in the process of managing the quality of the aged care facilities do include engagement of the community. Through the engagement of the community in the management the aged care facilities the service that are relevant and of high quality to the aged people can be guaranteed.

There is increased concerns for making sure that the staff of the care facilities is aware that they need to ensure that they deliver the necessary services to the aged people. The staff needs to operate as per their responsibilities as they have the obligation of ensuring that the aged do receive the necessary services. Establishing the standards to be met by the aged care facilities can make the care facilities committed to ensuring that practices that do guarantee good care to the aged people. The number of the aged Australians that need care is increasing where at the moment the moment around 8% of the total population is comprised of the aged people who are above the age of 65 years (Sparrow & Sparrow, 2006). This is a clear indication that the demand for care facilities is increasing yet that can result in the provision of poor services in the available care facilities due to the increased number of the aged in the facilities. As a result, there is the need for the government to work towards improving the care facilities for the aged and vulnerable people in Australia.

The agencies are set by the government aiming at ensuring that the necessary services are provided to the aged people who cannot be in a position to care for themselves in a way that can meet their needs. Considering the increase in the number of the age care facilities that are being owned by individuals, the Australian government has to ensure that the owners are working towards improving the standards of the service offered to the aged (Sparrow & Sparrow, 2006). Despite the fact that the major aim of the Australian government is to ensure that the aged Australians can access quality care service, there have been some challenges facing the provision of care services. For instance, some facilities are not offering the required services to the aged and vulnerable while considering the standards set for the quality of the care services need leading to abuse of the aged in some of the facilities. Due to the lack of the measures of the quality of the service offered in the car facilities, making a choice of the high quality aged care facility can be a challenging task as people are looking for the facilities that can provide good care to their beloved without any form of harm from the caregivers. People need to ensure that they can access the necessary information concerning the aged care facilities to ensure that they can make an up to date decisions (Hull & McIntyre, 2006). This can be possible by making use of the accreditations of the aged care facilities that do make the facilities committed to ensure quality services. Therefore, people who are looking for the aged care facility can be able to consider the various quality factors of the facility that can ensure that the aged are cared for in the right way.

The Australian aged care facilities are offering diverse care options aiming at meeting the different needs of the aged individuals. The major options available can include community-based and residential care facilities. The aged are said to start by enrolling in the community based care and eventually to the residential care that is permanent. It is in the residential care where the aged are provided with accommodation and other basic services that the aged cannot be able to do on their own. Residential care can either be permanent or respite where the permanent care is ongoing where the services are tailored to meet individual needs. On the other hand, respite care is temporal where the services are offered aiming at supporting the aged to live in their homes for the longest time possible. The Australian government has been working towards providing the necessary support to the aged by coming up with the care programmes that are flexible (Smith, et al. 2011). The programmes are geared towards providing care to the aged people who are in mixed settings that can include veteran home and transition care programme. These programmes have been established to ensure that the aged can be in a position to receive care in a more effective and convenient manner. However, there is the need to ensure that the service delivery process to the aged people ensures quality services. The different care options need to ensure that their services are offered in a way that do consider the interests of the aged. This can be achieved through ensuring that the activities and the interactions of the care providers ensure that the aged people are satisfied by meeting their needs in the service delivery.

Aged care quality indicators

The government regulations are now forcing the aged care facilities to ensure that they have the standard quality indicators that can be used in the process of assessing the compliance of the facilities with the regulations. These quality indicators that can be employed in the process of making a choice of the best care facility that do not cause harm to the aged people. Quality indicators are currently being used in the Australian health care system and aged care homes in Victoria. The quality indicators are being used in the process of measuring the outcomes of the aged care facilities through collecting data concerning the quality issues of the service offered to the aged people. The quality indicators are considered crucial in the process of providing transparent and necessary information concerning the service offered to the aged in the facilities. Besides, the quality indicators are being used by the service providers in the process of making improvements to the care services they offer (Paley, et al 2004). The Australian government has shown some commitments towards ensuring that the service delivery to the aged Australians is improved. For instance, the government has introduced quality indicator program for the aged care services to control the quality of the services.

The participation of the aged care facilities in the program is an indication that the facility is involved in the process of actively seeking ways of ensuring that the quality aspects of the services are improved. Besides, the facilities supporting the program do communicate that they are monitoring the quality of the service offered to the aged people. The facilities that have been precipitating and ensuring implementation of the necessary strategies that can ensure support of the program are experiencing improvements in the quality of the care services. The government of Australia is planning to expand the quality indicator program of the aged care services to include the experiences of the aged people and the life quality in the process of ensuring further improvements are made (Kirk, et al. 2010). However, there is the need for improving the quality standards in the aged care facilities aiming at ensuring that the aged people are able to access the necessary services in a way that is cost effective an satisfying.

The aged care facilities need to ensure that there are improvements that are made to the way they deliver their services where they can engage the community in the process of making the improvements. The care facilities that are supporting the need to ensure that the aged can receive the necessary services should ensure that they support the use the set standards governing the services offered in the aged care facilities. The staff in the care facilities also need to be made aware of their obligations concerning the level of quality needed where they should ensure all their activities are geared towards ensuring that the expectations and the interests of the aged are met adequately (Holman, et al. 2009). This can be a crucial way of ensuring that all the activities of the caregivers are of great quality hence ensuring that they can be in a position to meet the standards set. Besides, the facility can ensure that its staff are responsible and are working in the right way that guarantees the protection of the reputation of the facility in the public by offering high quality services (Gould, et al. 2004).

Trend in the aged care facilities

There has been an increase in the concerns for quality services in the aged care facilities where the management of the facilities a coming up with the strategies that do ensure that services offered are of high quality. Many of the aged care facilities are looking for ways of ensuring that the families are satisfied by the way their loved ones are being handled while in the care facility (Sparrow & Sparrow, 2006). The increased need for quality of the services offered in the aged care facilities are leading to numerous changes in the facilities. Families are becoming sensitive to the kind of the services offered in the aged care facilities to the beloved ones the moment they age to the point that they can no longer care for themselves. Considering the increased challenges facing the care facilities, many facilities are now changing their operations to win the trust of the families concerning the quality of care offered. Besides, the government of Australia has also shown concerns for ensuring that the aged are given the necessary and high-quality services while in the care facilities. As from 1980`s, several changes have been implemented on the aged care systems of Australia. These implemented changes have actually brought improvements in managing the aged care facilities within a certain resident (Gould, et al. 2004). However, the major concerns about the care facilities for the aged are sometimes raised due to the abuse of the aged in the facilities by the care givers. The families are now looking for the facilities that can guarantee great care of their loved ones the moment they are not in a position to care for themselves making quality among the private aged care facilities a selling factor as many customers are now looking for quality care services. As a result, the Australian government has made an effort to introduce the systems of assessing the nursing homes, and the aim of this assessment the level of quality of care services rendered by the aged care facilities. This system of assessment is usually comprised of certain forms that are filled at different intervals aiming a meeting different gaols that can include care planning and the monitoring of quality. The efforts of the government have been contributing a lot in the process of shaping the care facilities and ensuring that the services offered can meet the need of the aged people and the vulnerable.

The `Minimum Assessment Instrument` system do ensure incorporation of the quality indicators usage aiming at ensuring that the services in the care facilities do meet the needs of the aged. Quality indicators are usually factors which are used to assess data and finally indicate whether the outcomes are quite good or potentially poor. The data is not only used in the process of monitoring the aged care quality but also it is made of use in providing reports concerning the individual facilities indicating how they are progressing concerning clinical care. However, this system of quality assessment nowadays no longer exist in the aged facilities of Australia, neither are they established as benchmarks for the quality setting. The evolution of the aged care system of Australia and other developed nations are quite similar. The aged care services are usually provided to the aged people (Phillips, et al. 2006). The aged care facilities were introduced by the government of Commonwealth even though its funding was not well regulated, and therefore it resulted into poor quality of aged care facilities and also some unscrupulous practices were involved in the process. However, there is still the concern which regards the adequacy of managing the quality of aged care facilities and ensuring that the way the service providers are assuring that the aged can feel comfortable by providing a home-like an environment in the care facilities.

The need for quality improvement

Considering the trend that has been taking place in the quality management of the aged care facilities it is clear that there is the need for ensuring improvement in quality. Besides, the increase in number of the aged pole in Australia has raised much concerns from the public concerning the wellbeing of their beloved one who is receiving the care services in the facilities. The many incidents that have been witnessed concerning the challenges facing the aged are making it necessary for ensuring that the quality of the services offered in the facilities is properly managed. It is not simple to determine the quality of the aged care facilities since it involves interactions between human beings (Runciman, 2002). Unfortunately, no definite measurement can be used assessing the quality of services rendered by the aged care facilities. It is also very subjective since everybody has a different opinion concerning the aspects of the quality. However, despite this ambiguous situation, the quality of the services offered in the facilities is significant whereby the health care facilities are objectively compared and also judged accordingly. The indicators of quality do not measure the quality of aged care facilities directly this is because they only indicate areas of care which require being scrutinized greatly.

There is a strong relationship between the structure, process and outcome can be confidently used in the assessment of quality. Unfortunately, it is just a few systems which efficiently make use of such indicators. There are around three areas of care which should be checked for an individual to draw conclusions concerning the quality care. These three areas include the structure, process, and also the outcome of the aged care facilities. The structure here is the setting where the aged care occurs and usually include human resources and organizational framework. On the other hand, process represents the activities of providing the care services (Halliday, et al. 2003). The outcome then is the results realized from making use of the aged care facilities. These three areas are linked together to facilitate good processes hence resulting in a positive outcome through coming ensuring that the quality improvement strategies are fully implemented.

Conclusion

There is the need for ensuring improvement of the aged care facilities in Australia considering the challenges that have been facing the service delivery to the aged. The government has the duty of ensuring that the quality standards established in the management of quality in the facilities are fully implemented. The significant issue is that the standards are very wide to cover all the various aspects of care delivery to the aged people. However, these outcomes are quite broad therefore they usually apply to various levels of care needs. Additionally, the outcomes are always broad and intangible as well as subjective. For example, even though pain is tangible to the sufferer, it is also intangible to the person taking care of the sufferer.

Therefore, the aged care facilities need to ensure quality services are offered in the aged care facilities. For instance, the management of the care facilities needs to come up with the necessary strategies that can guarantee quality such as training the caregivers on the best practices of offering the care services. In the future, research need to be conducted to explore the practices that need to be adopted in the aged care facilities to guarantee high quality services to the aged people.

References

Cameron, F., & Brownie, S. (2010). Enhancing resilience in registered aged care nurses. Australasian journal on ageing29(2), 66-71.

Gould, D., Kraa, E., Dalton, C. B., Givney, R., Gregory, J., Stafford, R. J., & Kirk, M. D. (2004). Foodborne disease outbreaks in Australia, 1995 to 2000.Communicable diseases intelligence quarterly report28(2), 211.

Halliday, L., Thomson, J. A., Roberts, L., Bowen, S., & Mead, C. (2003). Influenza vaccination of staff in aged care facilities in the ACT: how can we improve the uptake of influenza vaccine?. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health27(1), 70-75.

Holman, C. A. J., Bass, A. J., Rouse, I. L., & Hobbs, M. S. (2009). Population‐based linkage of health records in Western Australia: Development of a health services research linked database. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health23(5), 453-459.

Hull, B. P., & McIntyre, P. B. (2006). Timeliness of childhood immunisation in Australia. Vaccine24(20), 4403-4408.

Kirk, M. D., Fullerton, K. E., Hall, G. V., Gregory, J., Stafford, R., Veitch, M. G., & Becker, N. (2010). Surveillance for outbreaks of gastroenteritis in long-term care facilities, Australia, 2002–2008. Clinical Infectious Diseases,51(8), 907-914.

Mitchell, P., Hayes, P., & Wang, J. J. (2007). Visual impairment in nursing home residents: the Blue Mountains Eye Study. The Medical Journal of Australia166(2), 73-76.

Paley, G. A., Slack‐Smith, L. M., & O’Grady, M. J. (2004). Aged care staff perspectives on oral care for residents: Western Australia. Gerodontology,21(3), 146-154.

Phillips, J., Davidson, P. M., Jackson, D., Kristjanson, L., Daly, J., & Curran, J. (2006). Residential aged care: the last frontier for palliative care.Journal of advanced nursing55(4), 416-424.

Runciman, W. B. (2002). Lessons from the Australian Patient Safety Foundation: setting up a national patient safety surveillance system—is this the right model?. Quality and Safety in Health Care11(3), 246-251.

Smith, M., Bull, A. L., Richards, M., Woodburn, P., & Bennett, N. J. (2011). Infection rates in residential aged care facilities, Grampians region, Victoria, Australia. Healthcare Infection16(3), 116-120.

Sparrow, R., & Sparrow, L. (2006). In the hands of machines? The future of aged care. Minds and Machines16(2), 141-161.