Protection of Older Australians from Abuse and Neglect Extended to Home Care and Flexible Care

older people

On 1 December 2022, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) will be extended from residential aged care to include home care and flexible care delivered in a home or community setting. 

This means that all providers of home care packages, short-term restorative care at home, Commonwealth Home Support Program, national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flexible aged care, multi-purpose services program and transition care program services have to focus on the safety, health, wellbeing and quality of life of their clients. They are also responsible for managing and taking reasonable steps to prevent incidents of abuse and neglect. 

Under the scheme, the approved providers must also report certain types of incidents of assault or the suspicion of certain types of assaults to the Aged Care Quality and Complaints Commission, and to police if considered necessary. They must also keep records of these incidents. 

All staff working in aged care must be encouraged to report alleged or suspected assaults. 

Read more about the structure and legal arrangements of residential aged care and the pros and cons, and potential pitfalls, of retirement villages, manufactured home parks, residential rooming accommodation and granny flats in our recently updated Queensland Law Handbook chapter ‘Other Accommodation Options’.