Consumers receiving Australian Government funded aged care services have the right to be properly looked after, treated well and given high quality care and services. The rights of consumers are protected by a Charter of Aged Care Rights.
On 1 July 2019, a single Charter of Aged Care Rights (the Charter) came into effect. It replaced previous charters of care recipients' rights and responsibilities.
The comprehensive, concise Charter provides the same rights to all consumers, regardless of the type of subsidised care and services they receive.
Charter of Aged Care Rights
I have the right to:
Safe and high quality care and services;
be treated with dignity and respect;
have my identity, culture and diversity valued and supported;
live without abuse and neglect;
be informed about my care and services in a way I understand;
access all information about myself, including information about my rights, care and services;
have control over and make choices about my care, and personal and social life, including where the choices involve personal risk;
have control over, and make decisions about, the personal aspects of my daily life, financial affairs and possessions;
be listened to and understood;
have a person of my choice, including an aged care advocate, support me or speak on my behalf;
complain free from reprisal, and to have my complaints dealt with fairly and promptly;
personal privacy and to have my personal information protected;
exercise my rights without it adversely affecting the way I am treated.
Access our Charter of Aged Care Rights resources:
- Charter of Aged Care Rights poster
- Charter of Aged Care Rights A5 booklet in English and 18 translated languages
- Charter of Aged Care Rights Template for Signing. This resource is available in 18 translated languages: Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Croatian, Dutch, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Macedonian, Maltese, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, and Vietnamese
- Read the ministerial release: Australian signs up for new era of Aged Care rights
The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) has a range of resources to support the sector’s understanding of the Charter of Aged Care Rights, including a Charter Information Phone Line, explainer videos and webinars for consumers and providers. For more information please visit the OPAN website.
Note: These resources are not available to order from the Commission's website. Downloadable versions and hard copies of the booklet and poster can be accessed via the links above.
Consumers have the option of signing the Charter of Aged Care Rights (the Charter). Consumers can receive care and services even if they choose not to sign.
If a Consumer decides to sign the Charter, they are acknowledging that their provider has given them a copy of the Charter, and assisted them to understand:
information about consumer rights in relation to the aged care service; and
information about consumer rights under the Charter.
Rights afforded to consumers under the previous Charters have been maintained through the Charter, the Aged Care Quality Standards, amendments to the User Right Principles 2014 (User Right Principles), and other laws that inform the delivery and quality of aged care. This includes rights under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and Commonwealth anti-discrimination law.
Provisions addressing consumer responsibilities are captured in the User Right Principles.
Standards of care
Aged care services that receive a subsidy from the Australian Government have to meet the Aged Care Quality Standards (Quality Standards). These Quality Standards are part of the legislation and set out the quality of care that must be provided to consumers. Our role as the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (Commission is to hold aged care providers accountable to the Quality Standards.
Make a complaint
Any person, including consumers or their family members, friends, or aged care staff, can make a complaint about an Australian Government funded aged care provider to the Commission. Complaints may relate to any aspect of service including care, choice of activities, discrimination, catering, communication or the physical environment.
Complaints about the aged care service can be made by:
Other aged care contacts
A summary of other useful contacts can be found below:
My Aged Care – find information about the services you need and what you need to do to receive them. There is also a national contact centre that can answer your questions; they are open Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 10am-2pm. Call 1800 200 422.
Older Person Advocacy Network (OPAN) – the national aged care advocacy line to support you with raising a concern or complaint about aged care. Call 1800 700 600.
Lifeline – a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. Call 13 11 14.
National Dementia Hotline – a free confidential support service which provides information about dementia, memory loss and information about government support services. Call 1800 100 500.
Looking for information about the Charter of Aged Care Rights for providers? Visit our Charter of Aged Care Rights (information for providers) page.