Unfortunately the aged care system in this country is broken. While there are many excellent aged care providers out there doing wonderful things, there are also many that could do a lot better when it comes to caring for our ageing parents.

But at Carers’ Circle, we believe we can’t complain about something if we’re not willing to do something about it. That’s why we’re involved in aged care advocacy. We speak up on behalf of older people and the children of ageing parents. We partner with like-minded organisations or sometimes go it alone on submissions to government departments and inquiries. We also speak directly to politicians about the rights of older people and their families.

Below are some of the submissions we’ve worked on over the last few years. Most have been joint submissions with Aged Care Reform Now (ACRN), Quality Aged Care Action Group (QACAG) or Aged Care Justice. Some don’t have the Carers’ Circle name on it, but were worked on by our Founder Michelle Chaperon as part of her work with Aged Care Reform Now, of which she is also a co-Founder.

aged care advocacy

Our aged care advocacy work – our submissions

Carers’ Circle and Aged Care Reform Now responded to the Exposure Draft Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation (Draft Regulation) and its Regulatory Impact Statement for New South Wales Health.

The submission promoted the importance of aged care settings as health care settings and the importance of pharmacology. It then provided four recommendations with real life examples of where medication management had gone wrong in these areas. The submission also included infromation from Aged Care Justice on the seven main complaints it receives due to medication mismanagement and requested that all medicines be clearly labelled with the reason for the medication.

You can read the full submission here – https://carerscircle.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/ACRN_Carers-Circle-response-to-Medicines-Poisons-and-Therapeutic-Goods_Dec_2023_FINAL-1.pdf

The Aged Care Act that is currently in place is literally from last century (1997) and is being completely overhauled.

Carers’ Circle collaborated with Aged Care Reform Now to provide input into the new Aged Care Act as it is the foundation of a collaborative, transparent and effectively regulated aged care system that is focused on the human rights and quality of life of older people as their needs change.

Overall, we’re pleased to see that the focus of the Act has shifted from funding and providers, to the individual – however we don’t believe this has carried through to all areas of the Act under consideration. We point these out throughout this submission, starting with the key issue of the application of the Act being limited to Commonwealth funded aged care services.

This is one of many submissions in this space on the long road to reform.

You can read the full submission here – https://carerscircle.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/ACRN_Carers-Circle-response-to-a-New-Aged-Care-Act_September-202_final.pdf

Our Founder managed Aged Care Reform Now’s working group to respond to the Department of Health’s proposed new regulatory model for aged care as outlined in A new model for regulating Aged Care | Consultation Paper No. 2 (“Consultation Paper 2”). We were pleased to see that some of our suggestions from earlier submissions have been acknowledged and incorporated into this updated consultation paper.

Overall, we were mostly pleased with the direction of the reform, however we were concerned that the model was still too provider centric, rather than placing older people in Australia at the front and centre of regulation, which it claimed to do.

You can read the full submission here – https://carerscircle.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/ACRN_response-to-a-new-model-for-regulating-aged-care_June-2023_FINAL.pdf 

Need help on a particular issue?

Carers’ Circle does not provide individual aged care advocacy. If you need help with a specfic issue, contact OPAN, the Older Person’s Advocacy Network. You can also call them on 1800 700 600 8am-8pm Mon-Fri | 10am-4pm Sat to be connected to your local advocate

If you’d like to make a complaint, the Aged Care Reform Now website has some great information on where to make an aged care complaint.