PM calls royal commission into aged care after inexcusable 'failures'

Around one in seven Australians are aged 65 and above, according to 2017 government data, with the proportion of elderly people tipped to reach 22 per cent of the population by 2057.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a royal commission into the aged care sector following appalling cases of abuse of elderly people.

'With more Australians exercising their choice to stay at home for longer, this means that when Australians are entering residential aged care these days they are doing so with more acute needs, ' he said.

Mr Morrison said his government was "committed to providing older Australians with access to care that supports their dignity and recognises the contribution that they have made to society".

Since that scandal, the health department has closed nearly one aged care service each month, while a growing number are failing to meet standards, Morrison said in a statement.

Council on the Ageing's (COTA) Ian Yates said "chronic systemic failures in our aged care sector must be addressed" and that greater consumer control and choice and tighter regulations were critical to improving safety and quality across the sector.

There was a 292 per cent increase in the number of facilities that refused to comply with rules.

"Walking by these statistics was not possible", Mr Morrison said.

The Oakden nursing home for elderly people was shut down previous year following a damning report by South Australia's chief psychiatrist highlighting ongoing neglect and mistreatment of residents. Labor leader Bill Shorten in June stopped short of committing to the measure but said quality standards and inspection systems were not working.

"It's got to be everything".

Aged and Community Services Australia, which represents about 700 not-for-profit providers, has also welcomed the inquiry.

Mr Morrison, in a statement, said the government also needed to prepare for a major increase in demand on aged care as the baby boomers age.

"This will give us an opportunity to talk about the quality of care that the community expects, and important things like how it is to be regulated and funded sustainably so that we can deliver the best quality care", she told Nine on Sunday.

He said funding for aged care was at record levels and Australia was a leader in the aged-care field.

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