Laws to protect you
You have the same rights no matter which aged care facility that you live in. To protect your rights there are laws in place that must be followed by the aged care homes. These include:
- The Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act).
- Charter of Care Recipients’ Rights and Responsibilities – Residential Care.
- Aged care homes must meet accreditation standards and be approved by the Australian Government to deliver care.
Charter of Care Recipients’ Rights and Responsibilities
The Charter of Care Recipients’ Rights and Responsibilities – Residential Care outlines the rights and responsibilities of your aged care home and yourself. It will be displayed at your aged care home and should be included in your original resident agreement. It is also available through the Department of Health at https://agedcare.health.gov.au.
You’ve been searching and have finally decided on an aged care home. You will be presented with a resident agreement. Your resident agreement is there to protect you also. It is the legally binding document that you agree to when entering into an aged care home.
The resident agreement covers all of the services that will be available to you. It will display the fees that you will have to pay also. Additionally, the Charter of Care Recipients’ Rights and Responsibilities – Residential Care will be included in the resident agreement.
Knowing and understanding what’s in the agreement is important. You can seek legal advice before entering into an agreement. Also, inviting your friends and family to read the agreement can be of great value. They might spot important matters that you haven’t seen.
If you’ve signed the agreement, remember that you do in fact have up to 14 days to change your mind.
When you sign the resident agreement, you’ll also have to sign an accommodation agreement. The accommodation agreement is also a legally binding agreement between you and the aged care facility. The accommodation agreement includes all of the accommodation costs, and the details of how you are going to pay these costs.
Take the time to read about accommodation costs by clicking here.
If you or your family are unhappy with services that you are receiving at your aged care home, it is suggested that you initially try to solve any issues directly with the facility. If you are unable to come to a resolution then there are organisations available who specifically handle complaints related to aged care services. These include but are not limited to the Aged care complaints commissioner and the Older Persons Advocacy Network. You can contact them on 1800 700 600 or go to https://www.opan.com.au