You have a right to be looked after properly, treated well and given high-quality care and services. To make sure you get the best care, all service providers have responsibilities and must meet certain standards.
How are you covered?
Service providers who deliver your care must follow:
- the Charter of Care Recipients' Rights and Responsibilities for Home Care (the Charter), if you are receiving a Home Care Package or services under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
- the Home Care Standards, if you are receiving services under Home Care Packages or the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
Charter of Care Recipients' Rights and Responsibilities for Home Care
The Charter acknowledges your rights and those of your family and carers, as well as your responsibilities. According to the Charter, services should be delivered in a respectful manner.
The Charter also says carers should be recognised as partners in care, and be able to participate in decision making in care situations when the care recipient is unable to do so.
Who is the Charter for?
The Charter is for you, your service provider and others involved in your care, such as your family and friends.
It is a good idea to read the Charter all the way through. If you do not understand what it means or how it applies to you, you can ask your service provider, seek advice from an independent aged care advocate or ask a family member or a friend to explain it.
It is also important that other people who help care for you know about the Charter. These people might include:
- your carer, such as a family member, friend or neighbour who regularly provides support and care to you
- your nominated representative, who may or may not be legally appointed, for example, someone who has a power of attorney or is a guardian
- your service provider.
The Charter outlines your rights when receiving care, including the right to:
- be treated with respect
- be involved in deciding what care will meet your needs
- have a written agreement covering everything you and your service provider have agreed to
- have your care and services reviewed
- privacy and confidentiality of your personal information
- be given information on how to make comments and/or complaints about your care and services
- have your fees determined in a way that is transparent, accessible and fair
- be given a copy of the Charter.
The Charter also outlines your responsibilities when receiving care. This means you need to:
- respect the rights of care workers
- give enough information to the service provider so they can develop and deliver your care plan
- follow the terms and conditions of your written agreement
- allow safe and reasonable access for care workers at the times agreed in your care plan
- pay any fees outlined in your written agreement.
Where can I get a copy of the Charter?
You can get a copy of the Charter from:
- your service provider
- the Department of Health.
Home Care Standards
Under the Home Care Standards, service providers need to:
- give you information about your services
- speak with you about any changes to these services
- respect your privacy and dignity
- handle your concerns or complaints fairly and confidentially.
The Standards also make sure you are able to choose someone to speak on your behalf (an advocate) in the case of any concerns or complaints.
What to do if you have concerns
If you, your carer, or anyone else is concerned about the care or services you received, it is important that you discuss this with your service provider first.
If, after discussion with the service provider you do not believe the service provider is meeting their obligations, or that the care and services you are receiving are not appropriate to the level of funding you are receiving for the Home Care Package or services through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, you may want to contact the National Aged Care Advocacy Program or the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner.
National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP)
You have the right to call on an advocate of your choice to represent you in your dealings with your service provider.
If you need an advocate, one may be made available through the National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP) by calling 1800 700 600.
Aged Care Complaints Commissioner
If you, your carer, or anyone else is concerned about the care or services you receive, you can make a complaint.