Standard 5. Organisation's service environment
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(1) I feel I belong and I am safe and comfortable in the organisation’s service environment.
(2) The organisation provides a safe and comfortable service environment that promotes the consumer’s independence, function and enjoyment.
Click on the links below each Requirement to view the Guidance material, including:
- Intent of the Requirement
- Reflective questions
- Examples of actions and evidence
(3) The organisation demonstrates the following:
(a) The service environment is welcoming and easy to understand, and optimises each consumer’s sense of belonging, independence, interaction and function.
(b) The service environment:
(ii) enables consumers to move freely, both indoors and outdoors.
Meaning of service environment
An organisation’s service environment means the physical environment through which care and services are delivered, but does not include an individual’s privately owned or occupied home at which in-home services are provided.
Purpose and scope of the Standard
Standard 5 applies to the physical service environment that the organisation provides for residential care, respite care and day therapy centres. It doesn’t apply to home care services where the environment is the consumer’s home. And it doesn’t apply to other environments that consumers visit, such as bowling clubs or libraries.
This Standard is for organisations providing a physical service environment. It makes sure that the service environment, furniture and equipment support a consumer’s quality of life, as well as their independence, ability and enjoyment. This means that the service environment suits the consumer’s needs and is clean, comfortable, welcoming and well maintained. It includes how the safety and security, design, accessibility and layout of the service environment encourage a sense of belonging for consumers.
This Standard covers how an organisation’s service environment:
- supports the consumer’s ability to take part in the community and engage with others
- minimises confusion so consumers can recognise where they are and see where they want to go
- encourages consumers to make their living areas more personal
- welcomes consumers and their family or visitors and provides spaces for culturally safe interactions with others
- is safe, well maintained and clean
- helps consumers to move freely in the environment (including access to outdoor areas)
- subtly reduces risk where needed so safety features don’t dominate the environment
- provides security arrangements in line with best practice to protect consumers when lawful and necessary.
The furniture, fitting and equipment provided at the service are also covered by this Standard. It is expected that these are safe, clean, well maintained and suitable for the consumer.
This Standard doesn’t replace work, health and safety laws, or requirements under building legislation.
Assessment against this Standard
For each of the requirements, organisations need to demonstrate that they:
- understand the requirement
- apply the requirement, and this is clear in the way they provide care and services
- monitor how they are applying the requirement and the outcomes they achieve
- review outcomes and adjust their practices based on these reviews to keep improving.
Standard 5 links to:
Standard 1 – A well considered service environment promotes consumers’ independence, privacy and cultural safety.
Standard 7 – The workforce focus on maintaining a physical environment which is safe, comfortable and welcoming promotes consumers enjoyment of their surroundings.
Standard 8 –The organisation’s governing body is accountable for the delivery of safe and quality care, services and supports, including the physical environment in these are delivered.
- Aged Care Act 1997, Schedule 1 User Rights Principles 2014. Charter of Rights and Responsibilities-Residential Care
- Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth), Schedule 2 User Rights Principles 2014. Charter of Rights and Responsibilities – Home Care
- Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth), Schedule 3 User Rights Principles 2014. Charter of Rights and Responsibilities – Short-term restorative Care
Resources and references
Dementia Training Australia, Environmental Design Resources, 2017. Richard Fleming and Kirsty Bennett. University of Wollongong.
- Fleming, R & Purandare, N 2010, ‘Long-term care for people with dementia: environmental design guidelines’, International psychogeriatric, vol. 22, no. 7, pp. 1084-96.
- Health. Vic Dementia Friendly Environments
- How to design dementia-friendly care environments