OPAN welcomes the release of new accommodation guidelines which support an older person’s right to live in a homelike environment with access to the outdoors and connections to the broader community.
‘Older people and their families have been calling for the deinstitutionalisation of aged care for some time,’ CEO Craig Gear OAM said. ‘The traditional model of large, multi-bed institutions is socially isolating, and it deprives older people of their autonomy.
‘These guidelines identify simple, relatively low-cost changes that can be made to existing buildings as well as best practice dementia design principles for greenfield builds. And they contain practical examples of providers who have been able to achieve that.’
The final report on the development of draft National Aged Care Accommodation Design Principles and Guidelines was released on 6 September. The guidelines will be centrepiece of the Australian Government’s new Residential Aged Care Accommodation Framework, which is due to commence on 1 July 2024.
Mr Gear described the guidelines as ‘an important first step’.
‘Now we need to find a way to fund and implement them. That is something the Aged Care Taskforce must consider ahead of its interim report in October.’
According to the taskforce’s draft funding principles, released last month, the residential sector must have access to sufficient capital to encourage the development of new accommodation and upgrades to existing accommodation.
‘OPAN is calling for any new funding to be tied to the National Aged Care Accommodation Design Principles and Guidelines,’ Mr Gear said.
‘We would also like to see these guidelines incorporated into the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission reporting framework through the new Star Ratings system to ensure they become standard practice.’
Learn more and have your say
Have your say on the accommodation design guidelines here
Read our position statement on deinstitutionalisation in aged care here