An advocate is an impartial person who can help you understand and stand up for your rights in the aged care system. This includes making sure you have a say in decisions that affect you, providing options to have your aged care needs met and helping you resolve complaints and concerns.
An advocate stands beside you, working on your behalf and at your direction to represent your wishes. They will always seek your permission before taking action or speaking for you.
Advocacy services support the rights of anyone receiving or seeking to receive aged care services, and empower older people to make informed decisions about their care.
The Australian Government’s National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP) provides free, confidential, and independent advocacy support to older people receiving or looking to access government-funded aged care services, their families, and representatives across Australia. NACAP is delivered by the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), with locations in each state and territory.
What can an advocate do?
An aged care advocate can assist you with things like:
- interacting with the aged care system
- transitioning between aged care services
- knowing and understanding your rights
- making decisions about the care you receive
- options for having your aged care needs better met
- resolving concerns or complaints with your aged care provider about the services you receive
- speaking with your service provider at your direction
- increasing your skills and knowledge to advocate for yourself.
Who can access advocacy services?
Anyone who is receiving or seeking to receive government-funded aged care services, including family and representatives, are entitled to access advocacy services. This includes people who:
- live in an aged care home
- receive aged care services in their own home
- receive transition care
- are helping someone who is receiving aged care services.