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In the latest addition to the Morrison Government’s aged care quality and safety reforms, aged care providers will need to issue their clients with a new Charter of Aged Care Rights. 

For the first time, providers will have to provide a personally signed copy of the Charter to each of their residents and care recipients and give them – or their authorised representative – the opportunity to co-sign the document.

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt AM said that the Charter will make the commitments and obligations of aged care providers clear while reminding aged care clients of their rights.

“The comprehensive new Charter covers 14 fundamental protections – from safe, quality care, to independence, information, personal privacy, control, fairness and choice,” said Minister Wyatt.

The Charter replaces four previous charters that covered various forms of aged care and will come into effect from July 1, 2019, along with the new Aged Care Quality Standards.

“Being treated with dignity and living without abuse and neglect are among the top tiers of the new Charter,” said Minister Wyatt.

What’s covered in the new Charter of Aged Care Rights?

The charter is covered in a one-page document with provision for both provider and consumer to sign.

The 14 points of the Charter give the consumer the right to:

  1. safe and high-quality care and services;
  2. be treated with dignity and respect;
  3. have my identity, culture and diversity valued and supported;
  4. live without abuse and neglect;
  5. be informed about my care and services in a way I understand;
  6. access all information about myself, including information about my rights, care and services;
  7. have control over and make choices about my care, and personal and social life, including where the choices involve personal risk;
  8. have control over, and make decisions about, the personal aspects of my daily life, financial affairs and possessions;
  9. my independence;
  10. be listened to and understood;
  11. have a person of my choice, including an aged care advocate, support me or speak on my behalf;
  12. complain free from reprisal, and to have my complaints dealt with fairly and promptly;
  13. personal privacy and to have my personal information protected;
  14. exercise my rights without it adversely affecting the way I am treated

 

When the Charter comes into effect, aged care providers across residential aged care and home care will need to give their clients (or nominated representative) a signed copy of the new Charter and ensure that they have reasonable opportunity to read and sign it. While it’s not compulsory for clients to sign the document, the purpose of requesting a signature is to allow them to acknowledge that they’ve received it and understood what it means.

While the Charter comes into effect from July 1, 2019, residential aged care services will have until September 30, 2019 to provide the signed Charter to their residents. Home care providers will have until December 31, 2019.

Details of the new Charter are available at the Ageing and Aged Care website.

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Belinda Peters
Belinda brings more than 17 years experience in journalism to her role as Seasons Digital Content Writer. As our blog editor, Belinda will take the confusion out of aged care with entertaining and informative stories from across the aged care industry and our Seasons communities.