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Reports of aged care assaults rise 40 per cent

Notifications of assaults in residential aged care have spiked almost 40 per cent, according health authorities.

The federal health department received 5233 notifications of assaults in residential aged care over the past year, a 39 per cent rise from 3773 the previous year.

A report on the operation of federal aged care laws tabled in parliament on Wednesday found 4443 of the assault reports were alleged or suspected unreasonable use of force, with 739 alleged or suspected unlawful sexual contact, and 51 as both.

With 242,612 people in permanent residential care in 2018/19, the incidence of reports of suspected or alleged assaults was 2.16 per cent.

The figures also showed the department had issued 55 notices of decisions to impose sanctions to 36 aged care providers for failing to meet quality standards.

As of June 30, 25 of the 55 sanctions remained in place.

The department also issued 267 notices of non-compliance against aged care providers, including 247 cases of failing to meet quality standards.

On average, men were admitted to an aged care home at 82 years old, while women were slightly older at 84.

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  1. Clearly there has been an increase in reporting of these assaults, rather than an increase in incidents of assault, for there to be that much of a jump in statistics.
    We also saw this happen recently with one of the Nordic countries cracking down on domestic violence, where women felt safer to report – an increase in stats as a result of increased reporting. Doesn’t actually mean there have been more incidents of assault, just that they are now being reported more.

    I’d be interested to know how many of these incidents are from organisations reporting for the first time this year, and how have they been allowed to get away with not following the legislation thus far…

    • Agreed Phierie. Just because there is an increase in reports of assaults does not mean the assaults were substantiated or have increased. You can not just look at the report data in isolation.