It’s Time to Care about Aged Care

RSL Care SA is part of the Australian Aged Care Collaboration (AACC) that has been formed to demand big picture reform from the Australian Government following the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

This is a once in a generation opportunity to reform the aged care sector. Over the past 20 years there have been over 20 separate reviews of the system, none of which have resulted in the level of change needed to keep pace with changes in the industry and the increasing expectations and care requirements of our residents. It is our hope that the government takes this report seriously, and that it doesn’t gather dust like the others.

More than 4.1 million Australians, or almost 16 per cent of the population, are currently over the age of 651. By 2057, that will rise to 8.8 million, or 22 per cent of the population, and by 2097 it will reach 12.8 million people, or one in four Australians.2

Of these 4.1 million people, about 1.3 million currently receive some form of government subsidised aged care.3

About 80 per cent, or 1 million people, remain in their own homes and receive a range of occasional or regular visits from nurses and other support staff.

Most of the remaining 20 per cent, or 245,000 people4 5, have greater needs and live in government-subsidised residential aged care homes with 24-hour onsite care. The Royal Commission spent much of its time focusing on this latter group.

Our residents deserve to age in comfort and with dignity, however over a generation the needs and expectations of our residents have exceeded the resources made available to them by the government.

As a country, we are failing our older citizens.

It’s time for change. It’s time to fight for a world-class, rights-based aged care system that meets the needs of older Australians now and into the future.

It’s time to care about aged care.

We encourage you to sign the petition at: https://www.careaboutagedcare.org.au/


1. Australian Government Productivity Commission, Report on Government Services 2021, Part F, Section 14, 20 January 2021, accessed 22 January 2021, Table 14.A1 https://www.pc.gov.au/research/ongoing/report-on-government-services/2021/community-services/aged-care-services

2. Australian Government Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Older Australians at a Glance, 10 September 2018, accessed 12 January 2021, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/older-people/older-australia-at-a-glance/contents/demographics-of-older-australians/australia-s-changing-age-and-gender-profile

3. Australian Government Department of Health, 2019–20 Report on the Operation of the Aged Care Act 1997, p.11, November 2020, accessed 21 January 2021, https://www.gen-agedcaredata.gov.au/resources/reports-and-publications/2020/november/2019%E2%80%9320-report-on-the-operation-of-the-aged-care-au

4. Australian Government Department of Health, 2019–20 Report on the Operation of the Aged Care Act 1997, ibid.

5. A small number of other people access flexible services, residential respite and short-term restorative care.