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The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability identified that psychotropic medicines are being misused and overused, particularly with older people and people with disability. Inappropriate use of psychotropic medicines has been recognised as a safety and quality issue in health care.

The use of psychotropic medicines can be appropriate for treating, or enabling the treatment of, a diagnosed mental disorder or a physical illness or physical condition. However, using psychotropic medicines, such as antipsychotics and benzodiazepines, to calm, soothe, sedate or influence or control the behaviour of people who exhibit behaviours of concern is a restrictive practice and is subject to regulatory oversight.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, presenting ongoing risks to older Australians receiving aged care, the Commission is constantly reassessing its regulatory response to ensure it remains fit for purpose.

In the last few months, the Commission has further refined regulatory processes and is closely monitoring providers to hold them to account for the delivery of safe, quality care to aged care consumers during the current Omicron wave.

The national Aged Care Quality Standards have been in effect since 1 July 2019 following an extensive consultation process.

The Commission is requesting Residential Services complete a Self-Assessment Survey to support COVID-19 preparedness.

The Department of Health has released a suite of eLearning modules, developed specifically for aged care workers. 

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a highly contagious disease that can cause severe illness for older Australians with serious complications including death. The start to this influenza season has seen a high level of influenza activity with recent statistics showing that already at least 54 Australians have died from influenza, of which 42 have been aged 65 and over. 


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