Charter of Aged Care Rights
On 1 July 2019, a new Charter of Aged Care Rights replaced the:
- Charter of care recipients’ rights and responsibilities – residential care
- Charter of care recipients’ rights and responsibilities – home care
- Charter of care recipients’ rights and responsibilities – short-term restorative care (part 1, residential care setting; part 2, home care setting)
The new Charter provides the same rights to all consumers, regardless of the type of Australian Government funded care and services they receive.
The Charter applies to consumers once they start receiving Australian Government funded aged care, including:
- residential care
- home care packages
- flexible care
- services provided under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program.
Charter of Aged Care Rights
I have the right to:
- safe and high quality care and services
- be treated with dignity and respect
- have my identity, culture and diversity valued and supported
- live without abuse and neglect
- be informed about my care and services in a way I understand
- access all information about myself, including information about my rights, care and services
- have control over and make choices about my care, and personal and social life, including where the choices involve personal risk
- have control over, and make decisions about, the personal aspects of my daily life, financial affairs and possessions
- my independence
- be listened to and understood
- have a person of my choice, including an aged care advocate, support me or speak on my behalf
- complain free from reprisal, and to have my complaints dealt with fairly and promptly
- personal privacy and to have my personal information protected
- exercise my rights without it adversely affecting the way I am treated
The Charter of Aged Care Rights is easy to read and focusses on 14 high-level consumer rights. The new Charter makes it easier for consumers, their families, carers and representatives to understand what they can expect from an aged care service.
Rights afforded to consumers under the previous charters have been maintained through the new Charter, the new Aged Care Quality Standards, amendments to the User Rights Principles 2014 (User Rights Principles), and other laws that inform the delivery and quality of aged care. This includes rights under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and Commonwealth anti discrimination law.
In addition, changes have been made to the home care security of tenure provision to include critical consumer responsibilities currently contained in the Charter of care recipients rights and responsibilities – home care (eg: payment of fees).
Providers have responsibilities to support consumers to understand the new Charter.
- give consumers a copy of the new Charter signed by the provider
- assist the consumer to understand the Charter (how this is achieved by providers will depend on the needs of individual consumers)
- ensure that the consumer or their authorised person has been given a reasonable opportunity to sign a copy of the Charter.
The purpose of requesting the consumer’s signature is to allow them to acknowledge they have received the Charter, had assistance to understand it and understand their rights. 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.
Timeframes for implementing these new requirements are as follows:
- from 1 July 2019 all requirements in relation to the charter apply for all new consumers across aged care programs.
- 30 September 2019 all requirements in relation to the charter must be completed for existing consumers in residential care and short-term restorative care in a residential care setting.
- 31 December 2019 all requirements in relation to the charter must be completed for existing consumers in home care and short-term restorative care in a home care setting.
Implementation arrangements for existing consumers of other aged care programs are as follows:
Transition care, Multi-Purpose Services (MPS) and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care (NATSIFACP):
- from 1 July 2019, all requirements in relation to the Charter apply for all new care recipients prior to the commencement of aged care services
- by 30 September 2019, all requirements in relation to the Charter must be completed for existing care recipients of transition care and MPS in a residential setting
- by 31 December 2019, all requirements in relation to the Charter must be completed for existing care recipients of MPS in community setting and NATSIFACP services
Transitional arrangements for Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) providers:
- from 1 July 2019, all requirements in relation to the Charter to be met for all new care recipients prior to the commencement of aged care services;
- by 30 September 2019, all existing care recipients to be sent a copy of the Charter by their provider
- by 30 June 2020, all existing care recipients to be assisted to understand the Charter and be given a reasonable opportunity to sign a copy of the Charter.
To assist providers with this requirement a Charter of Aged Care Rights Template for Signing is available in English and 18 languages to download.
For further details on the legislative changes and the Charter, please see the User Rights Principles.
Resources are available to support the sector’s understanding of the Charter.
A Charter of Aged Care Rights booklet has been designed to support understanding of the new Charter of Aged Care Rights.
The content informs aged care consumers of their rights and how to exercise them. The booklet also includes some information about aged care consumer responsibilities.
A Charter of Aged Care Rights poster is available to display and promote awareness of the Charter.
The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) has supported the department with raising awareness and providing education about the new Charter of Aged Care Rights.
For more information about these activities please visit the OPAN website
Public consultation on a draft single Charter of Aged Care Rights was conducted during a five week period from 5 September to 10 October 2018. The outcome of this public consultation is summarised in the Report on the Outcome of Public consultation on the Draft Charter of Aged Care Rights.
For more information, about the consultation process please visit the department’s consultation hub.