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Older Australians Need More Than Care

by Michaella Mead,
Member Engagement Officer.

In 2021, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommended the introduction of a new, modernised aged care system, which is ‘fit for purpose, delivers proportionate regulation, and supports the provision of safe and quality care for senior Australians’.

Since this recommendation, the Department of Health and Aged Care has proposed a model for regulating aged care. As part of PDCN’s systemic advocacy efforts, our policy team put forward a submission commenting on the proposed regulation model and providing multiple recommendations that should be implemented.

A modernised aged care system should provide services and supports that accurately reflect society’s current expectations around ageing well. We recommended that the reform should recognise the importance of community engagement for older Australians. A focus on funding for prevention and early intervention will allow older Australians to access a broader range of services and supports to ensure they age well and remain connected with the community.

Additionally, a new aged care system should take a more holistic approach by funding the provision of wraparound supports and services that assist participants to connect with other people, build and maintain social connections, and participate in activities that increase wellbeing. This move away from the medicalised model of care and support was another recommendation made by PDCN.

Community expectations regarding the administration and delivery of supports for older people have shifted significantly since the implementation of the NDIS, and there is now a strong call for the two schemes to provide individuals with equal opportunities. We propose greater funding parity between aged care and the NDIS and recommend that banded funding be removed from the aged care system to instead be determined on an individual basis. In addition, the new aged care scheme should give older Australians the same right to self-manage their funding that NDIS participants currently have.

Implementing a new system will allow older people to better connect with supports and services and have opportunities equal to those provided to NDIS participants. We encourage the Department to collaborate closely with both older people with disability and the aged care community to ensure that resources for navigating the new system are accessible in accordance with best practice.

Our submission was the first of several that we will undertake while the new model takes shape, as we understand that different parts of the new scheme will be open for discussion at different times over the coming months. In readiness, the policy team is continuing their aged care advocacy efforts and have developed a survey on people’s experiences to inform our views. Click here to complete the survey. Further research of people’s lived experience will help strengthen our pursuit of an equitable system. We also encourage you to contact us and share your aged care experiences, positive or negative, at

Read our aged care submission as a PDF here
Read our aged care submission as a Word document here

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