To make sure you’re receiving the best care possible, all aged care homes receiving government subsidies need to meet quality standards. These standards are called accreditation standards. They cover areas such as management, staffing, health and personal care, resident lifestyle, living environment, catering, cleaning, continuous improvement, and safety and security.
The following four standards apply to residential aged care homes (sometimes known as a nursing home).
Management systems, staffing and organisational development (standard 1)
Standard 1 is about making sure an aged care home has management systems in place that respond to your needs. Meeting this standard means that the aged care home:
- is properly managed and has the right information to meet your needs
- offers ways for you to make complaints
- has staff with the right skills and qualifications to care for you
- has the goods and equipment it needs to look after you.
Health and personal care (standard 2)
Standard 2 is about your health and personal care needs. Meeting this standard means that:
- you are offered a varied, healthy and well-balanced diet
- you are able to get the clinical care you need
- you are referred to health specialists if needed
- you are as free as possible from pain
- your medication is managed safely and correctly
- your oral and dental health is maintained
- your continence is managed effectively
- you sleep well.
Care recipient’s lifestyle (standard 3)
Standard 3 is about your lifestyle. Meeting this standard means that you are:
- maintaining your independence
- getting respect for your privacy, dignity and confidentiality
- encouraged and supported to participate in leisure and lifestyle activities
- encouraged to participate in decisions about services the home provides
- supported to maintain your cultural and spiritual life
- having your rights and responsibilities explained clearly to ensure you understand them.
Physical environment and safe systems (standard 4)
Standard 4 is about making sure you live in a safe and comfortable environment. Meeting this standard means that:
- fire, security and emergency risks are minimised
- programs are in place to ensure infections are controlled effectively
- catering, cleaning and laundry services are provided.
How are aged care homes accredited?
Aged care homes are accredited and monitored by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (the Quality Agency). To make sure homes provide 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 Quality Agency for up to three years.
What happens when an aged care home does not comply with accreditation standards?
If the home does not meet the standards, it might lose its accreditation or its period of accreditation might be reduced. To find out more, read what options are available if your care or service needs aren’t met.
Better Practice in Aged Care Awards
Each year, the Better Practice in Aged Care Awards acknowledge aged care homes that give the best possible care and services to improve the lives of residents. Awards are given for doing something that acts as an example for other aged care homes to 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 past two years.
You can view recent winners of Better Practice in Aged Care Awards on the Quality Agency website.
There are similar standards for other types of aged care:
- Home Care Common Standards
- Flexible Aged Care Quality Program Standards for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Care Program
You can read more about these standards on the Quality Agency website.