It’s a crisis that shames us.
Our aged care system has been ignored by governments far too long.

The federal government needs to make ratios law to ensure:

1 Staffing and skill mix levels are enforced at all facilities across the country

2 Aged care providers are accountable and transparent

3 Government funding provided to aged care providers is directly tied to care.

Record Profits in Aged Care

Last year, owners of aged care facilities racked up over $1billion in profits, yet they are allowed to employ fewer and fewer nurses to care for an increasing number of vulnerable residents1.


We are not able to provide a person-centred model of care, or ensure quality of life for our residents - we don’t have time.

Aged Care Nurse

I had to help lift him onto the toilet and shower him after he soiled himself due to there being limited staff available to assist.

Daughter of Aged Care Resident

The patients are often soiled and have chronic wounds or conditions that go undressed and untreated, as there is only 1 RN for over 100 patients.


It is just so unfair that residents suffer. Staff who want to care cannot because of time restraints.
They are exhausted, burnt-out and suffering chronic stress much of the time.

Aged Care Nurse

He has a motor neurone disease and is not able to do anything for himself.
The carers are great but can’t do their job efficiently when extremely understaffed.

Wife of Aged Care Resident

The Crisis

Australia has strict ratios for child care. However, there are no ratios for aged care to ensure our elderly get the care they need.

Aged care is one of Australia’s most rapidly expanding sectors.

Evidence shows residents are currently receiving around 2 hours and 50 minutes of care per a day when they actually need about 4 hours and 18 minutes2.

Over the last 13 years, chronic understaffing has seen a 400% increase in preventable deaths of elderly Australians in aged care, with hundreds dying from falls, choking and suicide3.

Australia has an ageing population. People are living longer and entering residential aged care facilities with more complex health issues.

The federal government needs to do more to ensure our grandparents, parents and loved ones receive the care they need and deserve.

The Solution

Australia has strict ratios for child care. However, there are no ratios for aged care to ensure our elderly get the care they need.

Legislated staffing ratios in aged care, will ensure nursing hours are mandated for each resident.

The National Aged Care Staffing and Skill Mix Project report recommends this should reflect a skill mix of Registered Nurses (RNs), Enrolled Nurses (ENs) and Assistants in Nursing (AINs)/carers.

Current shortages of much-needed skilled staff, such as ENs, need to be addressed. Education along with government support is required to ensure we have the right staffing skill mix in aged care.

Without an appropriate skill mix of RNs, ENs and AINs/carers, residents suffer. Simple tasks normally performed by Registered Nurses in aged care facilities are referred to our emergency departments, putting further strain on our overstretched public hospital system.

Cost Benefit

Analysis shows staffing ratios would save at least $2.6 billion in productivity and other economic gains, while reducing preventable deaths and improving the quality of life of residents4.

1 Ward, J. 2018, Tax avoidance by for-profit aged care companies: profit shifting on public funds.

2 Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation, 2016, National Aged Care Staffing and Skill Mix Project.

3 Ibrahlm, J. et al. 2017, Premature deaths of nursing home residents: an epidemiological analysis, The Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 206. no. 10

4 Barry Burgan, John Spoehr and Cecilia Moretti, 2017, Financial and Cost Benefit Implications of the Recommendations of the National Aged Care Staffing and Skills Mix Final Report

what you can do

What you can do