Aged care ratings are quite new in the ever changing world of aged care. Understanding the quality of service provided by care facilities is so important when choosing care for a loved one. The Australian Government has implemented a Star Rating system, introduced in December 2022, to help individuals assess the performance of aged care homes. This system is a valuable tool for viewing compliance, quality measures, resident experience and staffing levels within these facilities.
Star Ratings Overview: A Snapshot of Quality
The Star Rating system aims to provide a simplified overview of the quality of care in aged care homes, with each facility receiving a rating between 1 and 5 stars. These stars are indicative of the facility’s performance across four key areas: Compliance, Quality Measures, Residents’ Experience, and Staffing. You can search by facility here.
Compliance: Meeting Regulations and Standards (30%)
The Compliance Rating assesses whether an aged care home is meeting government regulations and standards set by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. This includes evaluations of quality, safety, financial matters and management. A 1-star rating signifies significant non-compliance issues, while a 5-star rating indicates a three-year period with no non-compliance decisions and a minimum accreditation period of three years. The Compliance Rating contributes 30% to the overall Star Rating.
Quality Measures: Safety and Care Indicators (15%)
The Quality Measures Rating focuses on the quality and safety of care in aged care homes, examining incidents in five key areas: pressure injuries, restrictive practices, unplanned weight loss, falls and major injury, and medication management. This rating compares a facility’s results to the national average, contributing 15% to the overall Star Rating.
Residents’ Experience: Feedback from those Receiving Care (33%)
The Residents’ Experience Rating gauges how residents feel about the quality of care they receive, relying on independent surveys. It considers safety, treatment from staff, food standards, and feelings of independence and belonging. This rating, with its significant 33% contribution, provides a crucial perspective on the day-to-day experiences of those living in aged care facilities.
Staffing: Care Hours and Nurse-to-Resident Ratio (22%)
The Staffing Rating evaluates the amount of care provided by nursing and personal care staff. It assesses the total minutes of care each resident receives daily and the care provided by a registered nurse to each resident each day. With a 22% contribution to the overall Star Rating, staffing levels are a vital factor in ensuring the well-being of residents.
Empowering Informed Choices using Aged Care Rating
While the Star Rating system is a great initiative, it’s crucial to remember that ratings are just one aspect of choosing the right aged care facility. As with any online review, conducting thorough research and visiting facilities in person are so important when making choices. The Star Rating system, however, equips individuals with valuable insights, and should help you form questions to ask when exploring care options. If you are starting your journey through the aged care system, we can help you navigate this, helping you understand the process and all your financial options. Our offices can be contacted here.