In response to the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality & Safety, there are now new reforms in the aged care sector. These reforms will place older people first, empowering them to make informed choices. Significant changes will lead to improved lived experiences for older people both in residential aged care and for those who are still living in their own homes. How these changes are implemented and actioned is the theme of this conference, that is, perception versus reality.
Reality is what older people are experiencing. Perception is based on how older people view their experiences. Older people’s perception may consider their experiences as not being that of ‘elder abuse’, i.e. they are in denial and do not seek any support. According to the National Institute of Family Studies, in a 12-month period, one in six older people was experiencing some form of abuse by someone in a relationship of trust. This is the reality.