Quality, safety and rights

In Australia, all age care services funded by the government are expected to comply with the Aged Care Quality Standards. The Standards are overseen by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

There are eight (8) standards that cover different aspect of aged care. These include:

  • Consumer dignity and choice
  • Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers
  • Personal care and clinical care
  • Services and support for daily living
  • Organisation’s service environment
  • Feedback and complaints
  • Human resources
  • Organisational governance

Figure 8: Aged care quality standards, Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

Consumers of government-funded aged care services also have a range of rights that are protected in the law. These are outlined in the Charter of Aged Care Rights.


Watch this short video explaining the Charter of aged care rights (2:35): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcR0ZTpD40Y&t=4s

These rights apply to all consumers of aged care services. It doesn’t matter what type of care and services they receive. They apply to all people no matter their background, identity and life circumstances.

If a consumer of aged care services is worried about the care they are receiving, they have the right to raise their concern or make a complaint.

Raising a complaint or concern should not affect their support services. They may need support from a Peer Navigator or other support person to raise their concern.

If possible, it is better to raise any issues directly with the service provider involved. They may be able to resolve the issue more quickly.

If the service provider cannot resolve the complaint, or the older person living with HIV doesn’t feel comfortable raising their concerns directly, there are other options.

The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) provides free advocacy services. OPAN can advise if a person should take their concern to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

Remember that any consumer of an aged care service has the right to end their service at any time.

Reflection Question

You have been working with a client for some time. They have recently moved to a new aged care facility. They tell you they feel unsure about disclosing their HIV status to staff because they have noticed some staff making homophobic comments about another resident. Your client is worried because they have been experiencing some changes in their mood and memory they think may be linked to their current medications. They ask for your help.

What steps might you take to work out how best to support your client? What would you do?

More Information

See for example
Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission: Charter of Aged Care Rights
– Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission: Aged Care Quality Standards
– Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission: Making a complaint
Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), also made up of a number of state and territory based advocacy services for older people and people living with disability
– Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department: Protecting the rights of older Australians (preventing and responding to elder abuse)

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