From the 1st of July 2019, the Australian Government is introducing a new and simpler Charter of Aged Care Rights (the Charter). It will make it easier for aged care consumers (older people receiving aged care services), their families and carers to understand what they can expect from an aged care service provider, regardless of whether they are in residential care or receiving care in the home.
- The Charter places the consumer at the centre of care by giving them choice and recognising their right to be treated with respect. It combines all previous charters into a single one covering all aged care including residential and home care.
- It acknowledges that identity, culture and diversity are to be valued and supported.
- Consumer responsibilities have also been revised.
- Commencing 1 July, providers will be required to give a signed copy and assist consumers to understand the new Charter as well as invite them to sign it. The purpose of requesting the consumer’s signature is to allow them to acknowledge they have received the Charter and had assistance to understand it. Consumers are not required to sign the Charter and can commence, and/or continue to receive care and services, even if they choose not to sign the Charter.
- Deadlines for receiving a copy of the charter:
- 30 September 2019 for residential and short term aged care
- 31 December 2019 for In home care
These changes will support aged care service providers in delivering care to consumers and provide protection for the aged care workforce.
To help everyone understand the changes and their rights, OPAN (Older Persons Advocacy Network) have provided resources on their website and will be running in-person events and webinars throughout June. Find one in your state at the bottom of the page here.
You can read the full Charter here