Older Australians and their families will for the first time have access to provide or read an online ‘Consumer Review’ of any aged care provider across Australia and request online information from those aged care providers who elect to participate in the ‘Provider Comparison’ tool now available on www.AgedCareGuide.com.au.
A new agreement between the Aged Care Guide produced by multi-platform media company DPS Publishing (DPS) and Australia’s seniors advocacy organisation, COTA Australia, has ensured the new online tools have strong transparency for consumers and has been designed to deliver an easy to use approach for older Australians, their family and carers.
DPS has also worked with leading aged care providers, like Aged and Community Services Australia, and independent non-profit consumer experience organisation CareOpinion.org.au to check reviews before publishing to make sure they don’t identify individual staff names, contain swear-words, or relate to current legal proceedings. Care Opinion also will share the review of services with other relevant regulatory bodies and provide the opportunity for aged care providers to respond online to the praise or concerns raised by consumers in an open disclosure approach.
COTA Chief Executive Ian Yates said COTA’s research shows that knowing the views and experiences of current users of a potential aged care service is one of the most sought-after pieces of information consumers want to see.
“COTA’s research says consumers want to know the views and experiences of other users before selecting their aged care provider. COTA has long argued for consumers to have the information they need to make the choice that’s right for them,” said Mr Yates.
“There are already tools for comparing services like school and health care but there is no obligation at all for aged care providers to do the same. We’re really pleased that everyone has worked together with Aged Care Guide to provide a service that is robust and addresses the concerns of consumers. We’re pleased to support this initiative because it’s the right solution, delivered by a trusted and reputable organisation who has a proven history in reaching large enough numbers of consumers to make a real difference.”
COTA will continue to advocate for increased transparency throughout Aged Care solutions and looks forward to continued monitoring of the DPS solution in the coming months ahead.
Media contact: Ian Yates 0418 835 439, Bronte Kerr 0411 676 269
COTA Australia is the peak policy development, advocacy and representation organisation for older Australians, representing COTAs in every State and Territory and through them over 500,000 older Australians.