Residential Aged Care – Rights, Complaints & Help

Picture of a woman wearing a red top sitting in a wheelchair at the front of a resifential care facility

Your Rights in Residential Aged Care

The Aged Care Act 1997 outlines your rights and responsibilities as a residential care recipient.

As a recipient of residential care, you have the right to:

  • Full and effective use of your personal, civil, legal and consumer rights;
  • Quality care appropriate to your needs;
  • Full information about your own state of health and about available treatments;
  • Be treated with dignity and respect, and to live without exploitation, abuse or neglect;
  • Live without discrimination or victimisation, and without being obliged to feel grateful to those providing your care and accommodation;
  • Personal privacy;
  • Live in a safe, secure and homelike environment, and to move freely both within and outside the residential care service without undue restriction;
  • Be treated and accepted as an individual, and to have your individual preferences taken into account and treated with respect;
  • Continue your cultural and religious practices, and to keep the language of your choice, without discrimination;
  • Select and maintain social and personal relationships with anyone else without fear, criticism or restriction;
  • Freedom of speech;
  • Maintain your personal independence;
  • Accept personal responsibility for your own actions and choices, even though these may involve an element of risk, because the care recipient has the right to accept the risk and not to have the risk used as a ground for preventing or your actions and choices;
  • Maintain control over, and to continue making decisions about, the personal aspects of your daily life, financial affairs and possessions;
  • Be involved in the activities, associations and friendships of your choice, both within and outside the residential care service;
  • Have access to services and activities available generally in the community;
  • Be consulted on, and to choose to have input into, decisions about the living arrangements of the residential care service;
  • Have access to information about your rights, care, accommodation and any other information that relates to you personally;
  • Complain and to take action to resolve disputes;
  • Have access to advocates and other avenues of redress;
  • Be free from reprisal, or a well-founded fear of reprisal, in any form for taking action to enforce your rights.

Your responsibilities are:

  • To respect the rights and needs of other people within the residential care service, and to respect the needs of the residential care service community as a whole
  • To respect the rights of staff to work in an environment free from harassment;To care for your own health and well-being, as far as you are capable;

To inform your medical practitioner, as far as you are able, about your relevant medical history and current state of health.

Complaints and Help for Residential Aged Care

If you are having problems in aged residential care, Aged and Disability Advocacy Australia (ADA Australia) can advocate on your behalf and support you in understanding and exercising your rights.

Phone: 1800 818 338 or (07) 3637 6000

You can also contact the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner directly if you need help or have an issue with your residential care.

Phone: 1800 550 552

Online Complaint Form: Click Here