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Seniors urged to speak up over home aged care

If you’re not happy with the service you are receiving, there’s a lot you can do – as this new report highlights.

Most common home services complaints

  • Lack of consultation and communication 15% (564) 

  • Fees and charges 10% (384) 

  • Management of finances 8% (276) 

  • Consistent client care and coordination 6% (226) 

  • Reimbursements 6% (222) 

The most common issues that people have with home care services relate to poor consultation and communications, followed by finances. 

This is a major finding of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s latest report, Complaints about aged care home services – Insights for people receiving care

It is the commission’s first report specifically for people receiving aged care and focuses on the experience of the more than 1 million older people receiving care at home through Home Care Packages or the Commonwealth Home Support Programme. 

The commission says the report aims to help people understand what to expect from their home services provider and sets out what to do if things are not going the way they want. It includes information about aged care standards, data collected from thousands of complaints and useful tips for people receiving care. 

Major complaints

Aged Care Commission – what it does

The commission is the national regulator of aged care services charged with protecting and improving the safety, health, wellbeing and quality of life of people receiving aged care. 

The Quality Standards explain what good care should look like and apply to all aged care services that receive funding from the Australian Government. 

The commission makes sure that providers deliver care that meets the Quality Standards and follows the Charter of Aged Care Rights. It has powers under the law to make providers deliver care that meets those benchmarks. 

Consultation and communications complaints made up 15% of all complaints received between July and December 2023. Complaints about fees and charges came next, making up 10% of complaints.  

Notable in the report is that, despite a much higher proportion of people accessing home services, there were fewer complaints about these services compared with residential aged care. 

The commission responded to 8,021 complaints and inquiries over the period and resolved 4,800, or just over half. 

It took 59 days on average to resolve a complaint and 65% of complaints resolved within 60 days. 

Complaints encouraged

About one quarter of all Australians aged 65 and over are receiving government subsidised aged care at home, and the commission says it is important that those people are confident about the quality and safety of that care. 

“That confidence comes from having choice and control over how your care is provided and letting your provider know if something is not right,” the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner, Janet Anderson, said. 

The commission is encouraging home care recipients to make contact if they have concerns.  

“Anyone can make a complaint and if something is not right or does not seem right, I really encourage you to speak up,” Aged Care Complaints Commissioner, Louise Macleod said. 

“It is often easier and quicker to raise your concerns with your provider directly, but if you have not been able to resolve issues or don’t feel comfortable raising concerns directly, the commission can help.” 

What to do if you have a complaint

Complaints to the Aged Care Commission can be made by calling 1800 951 822 or online here

Service providers can’t punish anyone in their care for making a complaint. 

Complaints can be made by people who use aged care, or by: 

  • Their family, friends, representatives, and carers 

  • Aged care staff and volunteers 

  • Health and medical professionals. 

If you’re raising a concern or making a complaint on behalf of someone else, make sure they or their representative knows this. They have a right to know about your concerns and be involved. 

More information about making a complaint and some tips on how complain can be found here. More information about the complaints process is available here

Source: Aged Care Commission 


John Austin

John Austin

Policy and Communications Officer, National Seniors Australia

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