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Call the Aged Care Advocacy Line, our national team of advocates is available Monday to Friday 8am–8pm and Saturday 10am-4pm 

Self-advocacy toolkit

What you need to know for better aged care

Self-advocacy or speaking up means having the right information to get the care and support you need. Explore the topics below to start.

Home Self-advocacy toolkit Solving common aged care problems Medication, chemical restraint and your choice

Medication, chemical restraint and your choice

Taking medication is your choice (under the Charter of Aged Care Rights, you have control over your care.).

Medications can help us live comfortably, stay safe, and live longer. But some medicines can come with side effects or do not work as well as we’d like them to.

You have the right to ask for – and receive – detailed information about your medication or to choose an alternative treatment that better meets your needs.

Health and aged care professionals, families, friends, and carers must respect that. You may also choose to write down your wishes about health care in an Advanced Care Directive – see our Advance care planning toolkit page.

Chemical restraint is the term used for medications that restrict behaviour. There are rules aged care homes must follow to ensure any restraint is used only as a last resort and in the least restrictive form for the shortest time to prevent harm to you or another person.

Medication: It's your choice

It is an older person’s right to make decisions about their care, including their medication, no matter their age or medical condition. Click on the ‘CC’ button to turn on captions and the ‘V’ icon for full screen.

Documents and external links

Learn more about medication, chemical restraint and your choice. These documents and websites offer help, strategies, and practical information. Brief descriptions are provided for each document or link.

Checklist: Medication - 6 questions to ask your clinician

Here’s a list of questions that will enable you to make an informed decision about the medication you are being prescribed. Download and print the checklist, there is space to add your own notes.

Medication: It’s your Choice

Visit OPAN’s page to explore and download booklets and videos in English and 15 other languages to give you an informed role in your decisions about what medications you take.

Informed consent factsheet

Download this factsheet covering what families need to know about antipsychotics and benzodiazepines in residential aged care from the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care.

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