The Inside Aged Care report by insights agency Faster Horses sampled over 1700 members of the general public and those experiencing aged care and found only 18 per cent trust the industry and only 13 per cent think it is open and transparent.

Released at the Leading Age Care Services Australia (LASA) National Congress in Adelaide, the report also revealed that only around one third of people feel aged care organisations show empathy, offer high service levels, and take the time to understand the individual needs of those in their care.

New Zealand Aged Care Association (NZACA) chief executive Simon Wallace, who was in attendance at the Australian conference, felt confident Kiwis had more trust in the New Zealand aged care industry. He credits this to the sector’s transparency.

“Because of certification and audits we have a system that is transparent. And we’re always looking for ways to improve.”

As an example, Wallace points to efforts to make the complaints process more robust and efficient.

He says concerns about the Australian industry were multi-faceted; they were likely to relate to sales and marketing issues as well as issues about care.

Wallace says Australian operators are very preoccupied with the Royal Commission into the aged care sector at the moment, and believes the Commission could be a source of the low level of public trust that the survey indicates.

He says while New Zealand’s system is not perfect, he thinks the Australian system could learn from what is being done here.

“Maybe during the Royal Commission, they will look to New Zealand,” he says.

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