Statement on Aged Care Royal Commission report

The Australian Human Rights Commission welcomes the publication of the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Following the findings and recommendations in the report, released today, the Commission would like to see the human rights of older people embedded in the planning, provision and monitoring of aged care services in Australia.

“Older people have the same human rights as everyone else in the community, irrespective of whether they are receiving care in their home or in an aged care facility,” said The Hon Dr Kay Patterson AO, Australia’s Age Discrimination Commissioner.

“We must make sure that people’s human rights are not stripped from them when they go through the door of an aged care facility. Older people have the fundamental right to be treated humanely, with dignity and with respect for their autonomy.

“While there are many aged care services that do great work, the Royal Commission report shows that there is a systemic issue with ageism in the sector. Ageism undermines the human rights of older Australians and is an obstacle to achieving an aged care system that respects and supports human rights.

“At its worst, we have seen during the Royal Commission how discriminatory attitudes towards ageing can contribute to trivialising, excusing or justifying elder abuse.

“All lives, regardless of age, are of equal value and it is vital that we embed older people’s human rights in the planning, provision and monitoring of aged care services.

“If we don’t listen to older people, we end up with systems that fail to meet their needs. We need to put people at the heart of all aged care initiatives, so that the care received by every Australian is not ‘just good enough’ but is ‘more than good enough’.”

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