securing the welfare of
aged care residents
Through Litigation and Systemic Reform
Who We Are
ALARM is a not-for-profit group of volunteers incorporated in Victoria pursuant to the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012. It was established in October 2020, by senior legal and medical professionals. ALARM’s Chairman is Dr Bryan Keon-Cohen, AM QC, a member of the Victorian Bar, now retired, and is supported by other voluntary Board members.
The Honourable Tony Pagone QC
We welcome The Honourable Tony Pagone QC, as Patron of ALARM, a former Federal Court Judge and Chair of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
Dr Bryan Keon-Cohen AM QC
Dr Bryan Keon-Cohen AM QC, now retired, practised at the Victorian Bar for 35 years, focusing on the protection of human rights, including native title claims.
How We Help
ALARM’s core mission is ultimately to secure and improve the lives of residents of aged care. The crisis revealed by the Royal Commission into Aged Care points to the urgent need for action.
ALARM seeks immediate industry behavioural change and redress through facilitating litigation by connecting victims with law firms, and ultimate change through law reform.
ALARM’s main purposes are to promote law reform in the Aged Care sector and to assist aggrieved persons seeking legal redress due to financial, emotional or physical damage suffered in aged-care facilities.
ALARM is networking with allied groups and aged-care workers, and is developing contacts with lawyers and legal firms willing to accept potential clients, initially on a pro-bono basis and, if so instructed, to act for them thereafter.
Our inquiry has shown unacceptable levels of substandard care in Australia’s aged care system.
The breadth of the evidence and the consistency of people’s experiences suggest that high quality aged care is not being delivered consistently in our aged care system, particularly in residential aged care. Looking at people’s experience of substandard care and the available data about quality, people in aged care cannot be confident that they will receive the care that they need, whether it be in relation to their health, social, cultural or emotional needs, or that they will avoid experiencing restrictive practices or abuse.
The extent of substandard care in Australia’s aged care system is inexcusable. On the best evidence available, Commissioner Briggs concludes that at least 1 in 3 people accessing residential aged care and home care services have experienced substandard care.
In overhauling the aged care system, the voices of people receiving care must be a priority to ensure that the system remains relevant and appropriate for the people it is intended to support.
Publications and News
Those who experience or witness malpractice, in any medical setting, must be assured that they will not face retribution if they speak out about substandard care. This highlights the importance of protections for individuals who ‘blow the whistle’ on poor practices, whether they be staff or residents.
We acted for the daughter and granddaughter of a man (Mr W) who died as a result of the negligent care he received at an aged cared facility in Parramatta, New South Wales.
Aged Care Watch submitted 6,500 reports of aged care residents left neglected and distressed to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission on Wednesday 27 April 2022. This was first reported in The Guardian.