Morrison to announce royal commission into aged care after string of scandals

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce a royal commission into the aged care system today.

Some of the worst cases raised included a 70-year-old attacked and killed by another elderly resident, the use of restraints, overdosing of patients and the indecent assault of a 99-year-old woman by a male carer.

There was an 177 per cent increase in the number of aged care homes where a serious risk to residents was identified in the last financial year, according to new government figures.

The Prime Minister could no longer ignore the alarming number of aged care operators "flouting the law and putting lives at risk". About 1.3 million Australians access these services each year, including 240,000 people in residential care.

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.

The inquiry will focus on residential and in-home aged care for seniors but will also cover care for young people with disabilities who live in aged care homes.

In recent years, countless disturbing claims of elder abuse have been levelled at nursing homes.

A damning 146-page report released in February catalogued numerous complaints of abuse and neglect at aged care facilities.

The royal commission will also probe the aged care system's preparedness to cope with an ageing population and the increased incidence of dementia.

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.

The prime minister said Australia was a world leader in aged care, and most operators and carers were outstanding.

Earlier this year, Labor leader Shorten said the opposition wanted to make aged care "a central national issue" but he was unconvinced a royal commission into the sector was warranted.

"But the best teams will always want to do better, and will always want to be honest about the performance of the sector as a whole".

"Aged care, be it the treatment of the staff, be it the funding model, be it the inspection standards, be it the interface, with having properly trained people, be it making sure there's just enough money". Do you welcome a royal commission into aged care? "I think it's the tip of the iceberg", he said on ABC's Q&A program.