The quality commission has released a report detailing and analysing what consumers are saying about the quality of residential aged care services.

La Trobe University’s Australian Institute for Primary Care & Ageing conducted the analysis and produced the 34-page report, which provides insights on areas including food, lifestyle, staff and management.

It uses data from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s Consumer Experience Reports (CERs), the first of which was published in December (read more here).

The dataset is based on structured random consumer interviews during visits to aged care services between 9 May 2017 and 4 July 2018.

The data was collected from 17,195 consumers living in 1,159 residential aged care services across Australia.

The number of people interviewed in each facility was most often 15, with a range of two and 36 people overall, according to the report.

The CER dataset provides a deeper understanding of the consumer experience in residential aged care, said La Trobe University’s Professor Yvonne Wells.

“The two CER questions with the lowest levels of positive responses are about food and having staff to talk to when feeling a bit sad or worried.

“With nutrition and mental health being key areas of overall health, these are important findings,” Professor Wells said.

The report shows the overall strengths of the sector and highlight areas for improvement.

According to the analysis:

  • men tended to give less positive responses than women
  • people who were not independently mobile gave much lower ratings to all questions than those who were
  • small-sized facilities received higher ratings on every question than medium-sized facilities, which scored better than large facilities
  • care recipients tended to give higher ratings than representatives, but lower ratings for food
  • people with dementia tended to give lower ratings to the question on being treated with respect, but higher ratings to the question on food.

The quality commission is looking to soon expand CERs to include home care services.

The report is available on the quality commission’s website and here.

Related coverage

Residents report mostly positive experience but food among areas needing improvement

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