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Making a complaint

Is it OK to complain?

The Aged Care Act 1997 states that you have the right to complain or raise an issue of concern about the aged care services you are receiving.

If you have a complaint, you firstly need to speak to a senior staff member such as the manager of the aged care home where you live, or the provider of your in-home services.

Raising issues or complaints can be beneficial for all concerned. Positive changes may be made as a result of a complaint and this can benefit all aged care recipients.

Every aged care service provider must:

  • Have a complaints process in place
  • Use this process to resolve any complaints.

Your aged care service provider is obligated to tell you about its complaints process and help you to use it. You can request an advocate to help you raise issues or make a complaint if you wish.

What can I complain about?

You can complain if you are unhappy with any of the services provided, such as meals and dietary requirements, personal care, medication management, equipment, fees and charges.

You can also complain about the care you receive from staff or management. You have the right to complain about any aspect of the accommodation and/or home care services you are receiving.

How can I make a complaint?

There are three ways to make a complaint:

  1. If you feel comfortable to approach management, speak to the Care Manager or a senior staff member. Every service has a complaints process. You should be told how the process works for your service when you first become a resident or client. ‘Residents and relatives’ meetings at aged care homes are another opportunity to raise issues and sort out day-to-day problems.
  2. Get someone to help you make a complaint. If you feel uncomfortable about making a complaint yourself, or you are not sure about what to do, or you simply want support and advice, Seniors Rights Service can assist you to raise your concerns.
  3. Contact the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. Anyone can make a complaint either in writing, or by phone or e-mail. A Complaints Officer will listen to your concerns, discuss options, and make a preliminary assessment of the complaint. If accepted, they will work with you and your service provider to resolve your complaint. The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s service is free and confidential and can be contacted on 1800 951 822.

Can Seniors Rights Service assist me in making a complaint?

Yes, our aged care advocates can assist you to escalate your concerns and make a formal complaint. For more information, see the Seniors Rights Service fact sheet Making a complaint in an aged care home.

Contact Seniors Rights Service on 02 9281 3600

Please note – this is information only, not legal advice. If you have a legal problem call Seniors Rights Service directly or see your lawyer.

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