Aged care info available to CALD communities
People from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities are often among the most vulnerable when it comes to accessing services such as aged care.
So, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has produced some resources to inform people about their rights as consumers in aged care.
These resources have been translated into ten languages: Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Macedonian, Spanish and Vietnamese.
In 2015, the federal government implemented a consumer directed care (CDC) model which became mandatory.
CDC gives consumers more choice and control over their Home Care Package (HCP), including: the power to choose a care provider suited to their needs, including the ability to change providers; choice over the services delivered, including when and where they are delivered and how funds are spent, and: flexibility in determining the level of involvement they would like in managing their HCP.
“This means consumers have greater control over their care. It also means that they have the same consumer rights as if they were hiring someone to repair a car,” the ACCC said.
“Australian Consumer Law protects people from misleading conduct or pressure sales tactics, unfair contract terms, the delivery of poor goods or services, and many other concerns,” the commission said.
The ACCC says that when looking for a home care provider it is important to understand who is providing your services. Sometimes home care providers will use third parties to deliver services, or sometimes they will be delivered by their own employees.
People should ask how much the services will cost including any administration or exit fees that may apply, the Commission advises.
It says it is important to get the Home Care agreement right and to seek advice from a trusted advocate, family member or legal advisor if needed.
“Once you have found a provider that you are happy with check that you understand the agreement and ask about any terms that seem unfair,” the ACCC says.
“Home care providers, like all businesses must be upfront and honest with you. A term in your agreement may be ‘unfair’ if it gives more rights to the provider than you as it is not necessary to protect the provider,” it says.
“If something goes wrong, you have the right to make a complaint. Speak to your provider first, but if you can’t resolve the issue, you can contact the Older Persons Advocacy Network on 1800 700 600 for assistance.”
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission provides guidance about consumer rights when using home care which are available at: www.accc.gov.au/agedcare.