To make sure you're receiving the best care possible, all aged care homes need to meet certain standards. These standards are called the residential aged care Accreditation Standards, and aged care homes need to meet them in order to receive government subsidies.
There are four standards that must be met. They cover areas such as management, staffing, health and personal care, resident lifestyle, living environment, catering, cleaning, continuous improvement, and safety and security. Within these standards, there are 44 outcomes, or examples of what people should expect when homes meet the standards.
Standard 1 is about making sure you have a home that has management systems that respond to your needs. Meeting this standard means that:
- the home is properly managed and has the right information systems so they can meet your needs and those of other residents, representatives and staff
- you have access to a complaints system
- the staff who care for you are appropriately skilled and qualified
- the home has the appropriate goods and equipment to look after you.
Standard 2 is about your health and personal care needs. Meeting this standard means that:
- your medication is managed safely and correctly
- you are offered a varied, healthy and well-balanced diet
- oral and dental health is maintained
- you are able to get the medical care you need
- you are referred to health specialists if needed
- your continence is managed effectively
- you are as free as possible from pain
- your best level of mobility is achieved
- you sleep well.
Standard 3 is about your lifestyle. Meeting this standard means that:
- your independence is maintained
- your privacy, dignity and confidentiality are respected
- you are encouraged and supported to participate in leisure and lifestyle activities
- you are encouraged to participate in decisions about services the home provides
- you are encouraged in your cultural and spiritual life
- you understand your rights and responsibilities.
Standard 4 is about making sure you have a safe and comfortable living environment. Meeting this standard means that:
- fire, security and emergency risks are minimised
- there is an effective infection control program
- catering, cleaning and laundry services are provided.
How does the home get accredited?
Homes are accredited and monitored by the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency (the Accreditation Agency). To make sure homes are providing you with the best possible care, accreditation assessors visit each home and talk to staff, residents and their families about the home and how it meets the required standards.
Aged care homes can be accredited by the Accreditation Agency for up to three years.
How do I find out about a home's accreditation?
You can access a home's latest accreditation report through the aged care homes finder. Details will appear next to information about the home.
The Accreditation Agency publishes the most current publicly available report for each aged care home. These reports reflect findings at the time of the audit only, and are not the sole source of information about a home.
What should I ask a home about their accreditation?
Before you move into an aged care home, you, a family member or a friend can ask the following questions:
- How did the home go in its accreditation audit?
- How does the home involve residents in making improvements?
- If you have concerns, who should you talk to, and how would the home handle this?
What happens when a home does not comply with the Accreditation Standards?
If the home does not meet the standards, it might have its accreditation revoked or its period of accreditation reduced. To find out more, read about what happens if your care needs aren't met.
Better Practice in Aged Care Awards
Each year, the Better Practice in Aged Care Awards acknowledge aged cares homes that strive to give the best possible care and services to improve the lives of residents. Awards are given for initiatives that act as examples for other aged cares homes and encourage them to improve their care and services.
Aged care homes can nominate their projects for the Better Practice in Aged Care Awards. To be eligible to apply, homes need to have met the Accreditation Standards for at least the last two years.
You can view recent winners of Better Practice in Aged Care Awards on the Accreditation Agency website.