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Royal Commission into Aged Care – Property Industry Impact

Royal Commissioners Richard Tracey and Lynelle Briggs are seen at the first public hearing in the federal government's Royal Commission for Aged Care Quality and Safety at the Roma Mitchell Commonwealth Law Court Building in Adelaide, Friday, January 18, 2019. (AAP Image/Kelly Barnes) NO ARCHIVING

With the Government’s announcement last September 2018 for a Royal Commission into aged care, it will be an interesting time within the aged care industry to see what changes will filter through to and have an impact on the property industry. The commission was prompted by the revelations of cases of abuse occurring in aged care facilities with a view to transforming the whole aged care industry to prevent the reoccurrence of such abuse.

 

A primary outcome of the Royal Commission will be stricter standards and regulations within the aged care industry. It is anticipated that this will naturally alter the aged care built environment, as organisations will be forced to change to cater to the new requirements.

 

Predicted outcomes such as a mandated number of staff to resident ratios, for instance, would require existing facilities to potentially accommodate increased numbers of carers and necessitate extra staff facilities. If we see changes to the system of Government capped bed licenses such as deregulation, the whole industry would be completely changed. If greater physical oversight is mandated, then we could see the layout of facilities alter so that residents are always in close proximity to a carer or nurse office for easier and greater monitoring of carer/resident interactions and any resident accidents. The introduction of anything from the aforementioned, to requirements for greater technological aids or independent health care professional examination rooms, as examples, would all see aged care facilities alter in their design and requirements.

 

Deregulation will bring with it changes to care models currently being utilized in aged care homes.  Rather than being limited to care delivered within licenced bed facilities, care could be delivered under more of a user pays model, allowing our ageing population more choice in how and where they wish for their care to be delivered – whether in a traditional aged care facility, or within their own home.  Different accommodation models could come to market, such as senior’s apartment developments that can cater for increased levels of care and palliation as required.

 

This increased demand could provide new investment opportunities for organisations and investors however this will hinge on what the actual regulatory and funding outcomes of the Royal Commission final report will be, to be released by the end of April 2020.

 

While this is all postulation until next year, it is vital that we keep the principles behind this Royal Commission in mind while we plan and design current aged care facilities – that is that every person should be treated with dignity and respect, and our aged care facilities should do what they can to protect vulnerable older people and encourage them to live their best life.  Fratelle Group is staying abreast of all of these changes, and currently implementing them into a number of aged care developments we are working on.  For further information or to see how we can assist you with the delivery of your next asset, please get in touch.

 

More details on the Royal Commission are available on their website: https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx