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Respecting older people

All Australians have a right to live free from abuse and neglect. This is a human right, current law, and a reasonable community expectation. Older people in aged care services also have specific rights to safe and quality care and services.

Unfortunately, the existence of elder abuse is a sad fact in many countries around the world.

As a provider of aged care, RSL LifeCare endorses and encourages increased awareness and vigilance to prevent elder abuse within our organisation and within our entire community.

RSL LifeCare is committed to our “See It, Say It” approach: If any employee, resident, visitor, or volunteer suspects, sees, or hears anything of concern, it is their responsibility to tell someone about it immediately.

For people living or staying in a residential aged care home

As an aged care consumer, you have the right to safe and quality care and live without abuse or neglect.

The Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) is a new Government initiative to help reduce the risk of abuse and neglect for people living or staying in a residential aged care home. The SIRS requires aged care providers to identify, record, manage, resolve, and report all serious incidents that occur or are alleged or suspected to have occurred in a residential aged service.

As of 1 April 2021, the SIRS requires every residential aged care service to have an effective incident management system to manage all incidents, respond to incidents, and take steps to make sure they do not happen again. The system is a set of protocols, processes, standard operating procedures, and training for all staff.

In addition to managing all incidents, approved providers must report serious incidents involving aged care consumers to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and the police.

The SIRS sits alongside and complements other requirements that RSL LifeCare must meet. These requirements include compliance with the Aged Care Quality Standards, which detail the standards of care a person can expect as an aged care client and ensure that our clients understand their rights under the Charter of Aged Care Rights.

Our Policies and Procedures for Incident Reporting, SIRS Guidelines and Whistle-blower Reporting Policy are clearly outlined on our employee intranet.

Additionally, all RSL LifeCare employees must abide by RSL LifeCare’s Code of Conduct and Responsibility of Employee policies.

Upon joining RSL LifeCare, all employees must complete an interactive learning module on their responsibilities and obligations for identifying and reporting anything of concern.

Ongoing training and awareness-raising continue in discussions at employee meetings, through readily available written information sheets and the successful completion of annual employee learning modules to support our “See It, Say It” approach and the SIRS.

It is our moral responsibility as an organisation to ensure our client and residents’ safety and wellbeing.

However, it is also our responsibility to care for all older Australians in our society. As Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members”.

RSL LifeCare operates under the Aged Care Act 1997 and all relevant legislation and guidelines. 

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