Australia’s aged care system: assessing the views and preferences of the general public for quality of care and future funding

Aged care quality and safety Government funding Health economics Aged care Australia

This report summarises the background, methods and findings from a large-scale study to investigate the views and preferences of the Australian general public for quality of aged care and the future funding of aged care. The study is the first of its kind in Australia and internationally. It provides a unique and timely general public perspective to inform aged care policy and practice as the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety works towards its final recommendations and the proposed re-design of Australia’s aged care system.

The study uses data collected from a survey of a representative sample (by age, gender and state or territory) of over 10,000 Australian adults not currently receiving aged care services, aged 18 to 91 years. The survey design was informed by a prior literature review and comprised four main sections.

  • Section A included a series of attitudinal statements about the importance of various quality of care attributes.
  • Section B included a discrete choice experiment, a quantitative approach enabling the relative importance of salient quality of care attributes to be measured and valued on a common scale.
  • Section C comprised a series of questions about the future funding of quality aged care focusing upon two main components of funding: co-contributions (individual payments or fees) and income tax contributions.
  • Section D comprised a series of socio-demographic questions.

The survey findings show both a strong awareness and a high level of agreement amongst members of the general public about what constitutes quality in aged care. A discrete choice experiment revealed that the most important quality of care attributes determining the choice of aged care provider across home and residential care were older people being treated with respect and dignity, aged care staff having the skills and training needed to provide appropriate care and support and the provision of services and supports for daily living that assist older people’s health and wellbeing.

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Research Paper 6