Residential Aged Care - What are my rights?
When we need it, we all want access to quality aged care but who ensures you get the respect, dignity, safety and care that you need when living in a residential facility? There are laws and a charter of rights in place to protect the rights of your loved ones to quality care no matter which residential aged care facility they choose.
What are the laws that protect them?
- The Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act)
- Charter of Aged Care Rights – Residential Care
- Aged care homes must meet accreditation standards and be approved by the Australian Government to deliver care
What is in the Charter of Aged Care Rights?
The aged care charter set by the Australian Government sets out to protect everyone living in an aged care facility, regardless of the type of care and subsidies they receive. These fourteen core principles set out what quality aged care service is and what you and your loved ones should expect to receive.
As a resident of an aged care facility, they have the right to:
- be safe and high quality care and services
- be treated with dignity and respect
- Have their identity, culture, and diversity valued and supported
- live without abuse and neglect
- be informed about their care and services in a way they understand
- access all information about themselves, including information about their rights, care and services
- have control over and make choices about their care, and personal and social life, including the choices that involve personal risk
- have control over, and to make decisions about, the personal aspects of their daily life, financial affairs and possessions
- their independence
- be listened to and understood
- have a person of their choice, including an aged care advocate, support them or speak on their behalf
- complain free from reprisal, and to have their complaints dealt with fairly and promptly
- personal privacy and to have their personal information protected
- exercise their rights without it adversely affecting the way they are treated
What happens if there is an issue or concern?
If you or your loved one are unhappy with services at the aged care home, the government suggests that the first step is to solve it directly with the facility.
If unable to come to a resolution, there are organisations available who specifically handle complaints related to aged care services. These include the Aged care complaints commissioner and the Older Persons Advocacy Network. Contact them on 1800 700 600 or go to the OPAN website.
More information available on: