Quality Indicators That Show an Aged Care Residence in Australia Will Care for You and Your Needs

In choosing aged care residences, there are many factors that must be considered.

Regardless if aging care is for you or for a loved one and the number of aspects you need to examine, one thing stands out – quality. The quality of a residence and the services provided will speak volumes of the kind of life you will experience there or the kind of assistance you will receive through home care.

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In Australia, aged care residences that receive a subsidy from the government must meet accreditation standards that outline the quality of care and services that must be provided.

Those that participate in the National Aged Care Quality Indicator Program also need to follow quality indicators that measure whether the care and services offered are high quality or not.

You can use the aged care homes find a service tool or go to the Quality Agency website to determine if the provider you are looking into meets the accreditation standards.

Are you considering any of the Arcare age care residences?

You’d be glad to know that, based on the results of the Accreditation Reports Search, a majority of its residences meet “44 of the 44 expected outcomes of the Accreditation Standards”, following an audit.

These include Arcare Portarlington, Arcare Brighton, Arcare Burnside (formerly Arcare Westwood), Arcare Carnegie, and Arcare Caulfield.

But what exactly are the indicators of quality?

Current Quality Indicators

As specified in My Aged Care, the current measurement of quality indicators are based on the quality of clinical care in a care residence in terms of pressure injuries, unplanned weight loss, and use of physical restraint.

Quality indicator: Pressure Injuries

Also known as bed sores, pressure sores, or ulcers, pressure injuries usually happen on the skin and tissues underneath the elbows, hips, tailbone, or heels, because of constant friction and pressure.

Thousands of people in Australia living in aged care residences are affected by pressure injuries which is why it has become a quality indicator.

A reliable care residence must have preventive measures in place that include:

  • Exercises and activities to keep clients and older adults as active as possible
  • A healthy diet and drinking plenty of water
  • Strategies to ensure that positions, when seated or lying down, are changed often
  • Making sure clients inform team members if they see any redness or feel sore, especially over a bony area, and if bedding and clothing are damp.

It is also important that seniors participate in their aged care plan to prevent pressure injuries.

This quality indicator also looks into how injuries are treated.

Quality indicator: Unplanned Weight Loss

Because seniors are at risk of malnutrition and losing a significant amount even without a weight loss plan, unplanned weight loss has become a quality indicator in aged care residences.

It looks into how well a residence ensures that clients:

  • Eat well and drink enough water
  • Have a healthy nutritious diet
  • Receive support when having difficulty eating
  • Enjoy the quality and taste of food
  • Receive a special diet when needed
  • Are being monitored for unplanned weight loss and oral health

People with dementia, depression, chronic disease, pain, poor dental health, have difficulty swallowing, and need to take multiple medicines are at risk of unplanned weight loss.

Therefore, if you or a loved one has any of these concerns, make sure to check if a care residence meets this particular quality indicator.

Quality indicator: Use of Physical Restraint

There may be instances where restricting an older adult’s movements or taking away mobility options is necessary. But it should be done in a way that a client doesn’t end up with injuries due to pressure or physical force.

Physical restraints, such as bed rails, restraining chairs, lap belts and vests, may cause pressure injuries, loss of muscle strength, incontinence, cuts and bruising, and poor nutrition, among other things.

These can also distress family members, seeing the impact and effect of physical restraints on a senior loved one.

So make sure to ask how a residence prevents pressure injuries and treat them, if and when they happen. This is especially true for older adults with dementia, mental health issues, poor health, physical disabilities, or those at a high risk of falls.

Participation in the quality indicators program is not mandatory. This means, staying in a residence that does will ensure your wellness and wellbeing while in aged care.

So, when searching for care residences, take note of the quality indicators.  

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