If you’ve been assigned a Home Care Package, accepting help from people outside your family and allowing them into your life, is a significant step for anyone.
In order to get the most out of your Home Care Package and enjoy a mutually respectful relationship with your Care provider, it’s important to understand your rights, as well as your responsibilities under your Home Care Agreement.
What Are Your Rights?
In Australia, all elderly people have the right to receive high-quality care and services and to be always treated with respect and dignity. These rights are protected by the Charter of Aged Care Rights and apply no matter what type of Australian Government-funded Aged Care services you receive. All aged care providers must comply with the Charter.
As a care recipient, you have the right to:
- safe and high-quality care and services
- be treated with dignity and respect and to be listened to and understood
- have your identity, culture and diversity valued and supported
- live without abuse and neglect and be able to complain, free from reprisal
- to independence and Have control over your care and be able to make decisions about your daily life, including your finances and possessions
- to have your personal privacy protected and be able to access all personal information about yourself
- to have a person of your choice, including an aged care advocate, support you or speak on your behalf
- to exercise your rights without it adversely affecting the way you are treated
Your Home Care Provider is legally required to give you a copy of the Charter and make sure you understand your rights under it. They are also required to sign it and to give you the option of doing so as well.
As with any other agreement, in addition to your rights under a Home Care Agreement, you also have certain responsibilities.
What are your responsibilities?
These are essentially based on universal principles of courtesy and respect and include the following:
- being respectful and considerate to all staff involved in your care and ensure they are not subjected to any kind of violence, harassment or abuse
- respecting the rights of all staff who come into your home, to work in a safe environment. This may include not smoking around them or keeping pets under control
- providing your Care provider with up to date information and letting them know if you have any issues with the services you’re receiving
- paying all agreed fees on time and comply with all other terms contained in Home Care Agreement
If you’re concerned about the quality of your care or believe your rights are not being respected, it’s important to raise your concerns with your provider. They will have their own complaints/feedback procedure and you should be able to raise your concerns without worrying about how you will be treated.
If you feel uncomfortable speaking to your provider or feel dissatisfied with how they have dealt with your concerns, you have the right to have someone represent you and advocate on your behalf. This can be a trusted family member, or you can seek assistance through the National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NCAP).
If you have a concern but don’t feel comfortable going through such formal measures, call and speak to CareAbout for some tailored, expert advice.