Aged care star ratings explained
Quality care is important to all Australians. Recently, the Australian Government Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission launched a star rating system to help residents and their families compare the care offered by aged care providers. We explore what it means for you when you’re considering aged care.
For most families, selecting an aged care community for their loved one can be one of the biggest decisions they make. With most families being new to aged care, it can be hard to know how to explore, compare and evaluate which communities suit your needs. It makes sense, then, to use all the resources available to help guide your decision-making process.
Using the star ratings can be a great way to get a quick snapshot of whether a community is delivering care that meets the Aged Care Quality Standards. The standards detail what good care should look like for each resident and have the resident’s dignity and choice at the core. However, like any data, it’s important to know how to interpret the star ratings correctly.
What the ratings mean
Most aged care communities in Australia have received an overall star rating of between three and four stars. A four star rating is considered to be very good or above average. In the April 2023 reporting, this rating was achieved by about 30% of communities across Australia, including seven Carinity communities. A three-star rated community provides fully-compliant, quality care that meets the Aged Care Quality Standards.
How the star ratings are determined
The star ratings review four key areas and give a weighting to the importance of each category. They include a mix of technical measures, such as compliance with the aged care standards, and also seek feedback from residents regarding their overall experience and quality of life.
Quality Indicators (15%): How an aged care community performs in terms of pressure injuries, use of physical restraints, unplanned weight loss, falls and medication management.
Service Compliance (30%): How compliant the community is with the eight clinical and quality standards. Compliance is reviewed in regards to care standards including quality, safety, financial matters, and management.
Residents’ Experience (33%): Quarterly surveys ask residents how they feel about their safety, care, staff, food, independence, and their sense of belonging.
Staffing Minutes (22%): This reviews how many minutes of care each resident received from clinical staff, such as nursing staff and carers. Lifestyle coordinators, allied health providers and support staff aren’t included in these figures, even though they have regular interaction with residents.
Using the star ratings to choose a community
While the star ratings are a great way to get a quick apples-for-apples comparison, they can never tell you whether a community is the right fit for you personally.
Perhaps you or your loved one would prefer a community with visiting pets? Maybe having physio-led exercise classes are important to your goals of maintaining strength?
Even the types of activities come down to personal preferences. These can’t be discovered through ratings alone. We always recommend taking a tour to view and experience a facility personally so you can get a sense of the community and decide whether it’s right for you.
If you’re thinking about a move to aged care, feel free to give Carinity’s Customer Service Centre a call on 1300 109 109.
Our team will happily discuss any questions you may have about entering aged care so you can put plans in place and put your mind at ease.