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Home News and media centre News ‘Staff are carers, not wardens’: survey endorses Charter

‘Staff are carers, not wardens’: survey endorses Charter

#ReadyToListen’s Charter of Sexual Rights has been enthusiastically embraced by older people, family members, carers, advocates, aged care workers and allied health professionals in OPAN’s online survey.

The overwhelming majority (91.5 percent) of the 272 respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that a Charter of Sexual Rights and Responsibilities in Residential Aged Care was necessary.

‘I support this Charter in the interests of elderly friends who are currently in residential care and for the future when I look forward to having these rights myself.’ – Carer, WA 

An even greater number of respondents (95.5 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that aged care residents had the right to engage in lawful sexual activity in the privacy of their own room without fear of judgement (contingent on the consent of all participants).

‘Staff are carers, not wardens.’ – Advocate, Tasmania 

More than 96 percent of respondents supported residents’ right to information about sexual consent.

‘Issues of sex and sexuality can be multifaceted and education and training must recognise this.’ – Social worker, WA 

Almost 98 percent of respondents believed residents had the right to be free from sexual assault, including any sexual activities or conduct they did not consent to.

‘Staff must be trained to respond to disclosures of sexual abuse within care settings. There needs to be clear guidelines about what constitutes abuse and what is consent (particularly if thinking about a person with dementia).’ – Sexual assault counsellor, NSW 

A similar number of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that staff had the right to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace.

‘Why is aged care considered different to any other workplace, where all these things would be considered perfectly normal and training would be provided.’ – Older person, NSW