What is Advocacy? How do you get advocacy support in aged care?

In the Australian aged care sector, advocacy services support the rights of anyone receiving or seeking to receive aged care services, and empower older people to make informed decisions about their care.

 

Usually, advocacy services are delivered by an advocate. An advocate is an impartial person who can help you understand and stand up for your rights in the aged care system. This includes making sure you have a say in decisions that affect you, providing options to have your aged care needs met and helping you resolve complaints and concerns.

 

An advocate stands beside you, working on your behalf and at your direction to represent your wishes. They will always seek your permission before taking action or speaking for you.

Advocates may be used during assessments, reviews, and complaints or for any other communication between you and your aged care service providers.

An aged care advocate can assist you with things like:

  • interacting with the aged care system
  • transitioning between aged care services
  • knowing and understanding your rights
  • making decisions about the care you receive
  • options for having your aged care needs better met
  • resolving concerns or complaints with your aged care provider about the services you receive
  • speaking with your service provider at your direction
  • increasing your skills and knowledge to advocate for yourself.

Major Advocacy Support Services

Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN)

The Australian Government’s National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP) provides free, confidential, and independent advocacy support to older people receiving or looking to access government-funded aged care services, their families, and representatives across Australia. NACAP is delivered by the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), with locations in each state and territory.
 
Phone:1800 700 600
Email:enquiries@opan.com.au
Website:https://opan.com.au/ 

Senior Rights Service

Seniors Rights Service is a community organisation dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights of older people, particularly vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. Seniors Rights Service provides free and confidential telephone advice, aged care advocacy and support, legal advice and rights-based education forums to seniors across New South Wales.
 
Phone:1800 424 079
Email: info@seniorsrightsservice.org.au
Website:https://seniorsrightsservice.org.au/
Address:Level 4, 418A Elizabeth St Surry Hills NSW 2010

You can also access information about some other advocacy supports online or via other channels.

If you need to use other languages than English when contacting these advocacy services, you can dial 131 450 to access the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS).

For more information and guidelines on how to protect your rights and interests in aged care, feel free to speak with us.

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