The Federal Government is developing a Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for recipients of community and flexible care packages.
It hopes the proposed document will give packaged care clients a greater input into the services they receive.
The charter will apply to clients receiving community aged care packages (CACPs), extended aged care at home (EACH) packages and extended aged care at home dementia (EACH Dementia) packages.
The rights to maintain personal independence, to receive quality care, to be treated with respect and to complain are some of the key features of a draft charter released by the Commonwealth last week.
A final version of the charter will be formed following consultation with consumers, aged care providers and
The Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot said the charter was being introduced to address a discrepancy between residential care and community care.
“At the moment, there is a charter for nursing homes and hostels, but none for community care,” said Mrs Elliot.
“Put simply, this is about giving older Australians a greater say in the services they receive.”
The CEO of Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA), Greg Mundy, said his organisation would work with the government to ensure that the charter was appropriate for all stakeholders.
“The concept of rights in community care is fundamentally different to residential care,” he said.
“When people are living independently in their own homes, they are responsible for their own fate in a way that residents are not and the charter needs to properly reflect that reality.”
Mr Mundy added that the government must also acknowledge its responsibility to provide adequate funding for community care services.
“The Commonwealth often tries to avoid binding itself to its own responsibilities but we will make that point clearly,” Mr Mundy said.
Mrs Elliot said the charter will clearly explain the flexibility older Australians have in negotiating packages.
The government’s plan is to give the charter to clients when their care package is being negotiated.