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The next stage of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety began yesterday with a public hearing taking place in Sydney.
This hearing will focus on the quality and safety of residential aged care, with a focus on care for people living with dementia.
It aims to provide insights into whether the residential aged care system is coping with the challenges of dementia and, if not, why not? There will also be a focus on the key elements of quality dementia care.
The hearing will begin with direct accounts of the experiences of people living in the residential aged care system, and accounts from people living with dementia and their carers. These personal accounts are expected to provide powerful and compelling insights into the experience of residential aged care, particularly for those living with dementia.
This month the Commission will look into allegations of poor care and mistreatment by certain providers, and hear evidence from those providers. These case studies are expected to shed light on particular issues relevant to the quality and safety of care provided to residents living with dementia.
Evidence will also be given by aged care workers, nurses, clinical experts, innovative provider organisations, policy advocates and representatives from the Department of Health and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
This stage of the commission will also delve further into the use of physical restraints and overuse of psychotropic drugs (in particular antipsychotics and benzodiazepines) in residential aged care to manage the behaviour of people living with dementia. Clinical evidence about these practices will be a focus of the hearing.
The May hearings will involve consideration of the exposure of residents with dementia to substandard clinical and personal care.
A host of experts are also expected to give evidence at the hearing this month.
Hall & Prior welcomes the Royal Commission, believing it will lead to long-term, sustainable improvements for the aged care sector.