Australia is currently dealing with an ageing population, meaning that the demand for living in retirement village accommodation is increasing.
The law surrounding government funded aged care is the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth) (‘the Act’) and deals with the following rules surrounding aged-care:
- Approval of aged-care providers;
- Quality of care;
- Rights of people receiving care; and
Quality of Care
The responsibilities of aged-care providers are dealt with under Part 4.1, Division 54 of the Act and include:
- To provide such care and services as are specified in the Quality of Care Principles in respect of aged care of the type in question;
- To maintain an adequate number of appropriately skilled staff to ensure that the care needs of care recipients are met;
- To provide care and services of a quality that is consistent with any rights and responsibilities of care recipients that are specified in the User Rights Principles for the purposes of paragraph 56‑1(m), 56‑2(k) or 56‑3(l);
- To comply with the Aged Care Quality Standards made under section 54‑2;
(h) Such other responsibilities as are specified in the Quality of Care Principles.
Such other responsibilities are also covered under Division 56 and include:
- To charge the appropriate amount for aged-care services;
- To provide security for tenure;
- To comply with the user rights principles;
- To allow the user to enter into a ‘home care agreement’
- To offer complaints resolution mechanisms
Assaults in aged-care facilities
Division 63 makes it the responsibility of an approved provider of residential care, and staff members, to report on alleged assaults, or any suspicion “on reasonable grounds” of a reportable assault. A reportable assault is defined in the Act as:
unlawful sexual contact unreasonable use of force, or assault specified in the Accountability Principles and constituting an offence against a law of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory, that is inflicted on a person when:
(a) the person is receiving residential care in respect of which the provider is approved; and
(i) *subsidy is payable for provision of the care to the person; or
(ii) the person is approved under Part 2.3 as the recipient of that type of residential care.
Subsections 6 and 7 provide for the protection of staff members who report assaults.
How can we help?
At JB Solicitors, we understand the importance of feeling secure in an aged care facility. Furthermore, if you are thinking of acquiring an aged care facility, we are able to advise as to the buying or selling of the land. Please do not hesitate to contact the experienced team at JB Solicitors and we will be more than happy to assist you.