This is an update on the planned overhaul of the Commonwealth Aged Care Act. Submissions from stakeholders and the general public closed on 8 March 2024. More than a dozen submissions about the exposure draft of the new Act were received by the Department of Health and Aged Care. To date, there has been no summary provided on the Department’s website about the submissions received, although it is known that there was a lengthy consultation process conducted by the Department in the second half of 2023 about the planned provisions of the new Act.

The Department’s website advises that analysis of the consultation feedback will be published later in 2024 and, to date, none of the submissions have been released by the Department.

Autonomy First Lawyers (AFL) provided a comprehensive submission to the Department on the planned legislation. It stressed that the changes to the Act should focus on wellbeing, reablement and quality of life consistent with the values, wishes, objectives and cognitive limitations of the care recipient.

This is a hallmark of the services that AFL seeks to provide, that older and vulnerable clients and users of aged care facilities be confident that their voices and their decisions will be heard and that they will be supported in choices about their lifestyle, health care decisions and end of life directions.

A copy of AFL’s submission, and its Endorsement by STEP Australia, is available here.

AFL will keep a watching brief on this important issue through its blog posts, social media pages and newsletter.