Aged Care Charter of Rights, a beautiful fantasy

Article published 23 April 2019

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THERE has been a lot to do about the new aged care Charter of Rights.  This new Charter will cover people receiving care both in nursing homes and at home.

Each care recipient must be given a copy of the Charter of Rights and this copy must be personally signed by the aged care provider who provides them with care.

It follows that anyone waiting for, but not receiving any care won’t be getting a copy of the Charter. They have no provider to sign their copy. Sadly, this also means, or confirms that as of 31 December 2018, 74,000 people on the aged care waiting list have no rights at all.

It also makes you wonder about the rights of 54,000 people who have a Home Care Package at a level lower than they need. Presumably, they will be given a (signed!) copy of the Charter of Rights, but do they really receive “safe and high quality care and services”? Are they “treated with dignity and respect”? Do they have their “identity, culture and diversity valued and supported”? They may “live without abuse”, but do they live without “neglect”?

The quotes in the previous paragraph are from the new Charter of Rights.

The new Charter of Rights is one of those bureaucratic and utterly meaningless exercises on which the aged care industry seems to have a patent.

The reform we really need is to make the aged care system a system like Medicare and the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which entitles people who need care to receive care. Until then, the aged care system remains a shoddy scheme based on waiting lists, meanness and utter disrespect for the people it is meant to serve.


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