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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 Raising concerns and making an effective complaint

Raising concerns and making an effective complaint

Raising concerns effectively or making an effective complaint takes preparation. Sometimes, it takes persistence.

It’s a good idea to write down the issues that are concerning you, or to talk about them with a friend, family member or advocate before you contact your service provider. That way you can be clear about what you want to happen.

Many people don’t want to raise concerns or complain – either because they don’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or because they fear reprisal. However, in the majority of cases, the provider will want to resolve any issues. And remember, you have the right to complain free of reprisal under the Charter of Aged Care Rights (see below).

Be polite to the person you talk to – they are there to help. If nobody gets back to you within a few days, call back. If the first person you talk to hasn’t helped, talk to somebody else.

If you are still not happy after raising your concerns, you can make a formal complaint to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (see below). You can do this yourself or ask an aged care advocate to support you.

How to make an effective complaint

Speaking up will help make the service better for you and others too. This video walks you through the steps and top tips to raising concerns and making an effective complaint, featuring advocate Gerard Dunlop. Click on the ‘CC’ button to turn on captions and the ‘V’ icon for full screen.

Documents and external links

Learn more about raising concerns and making an effective complaint. These documents and websites offer help, strategies, and practical information. Brief descriptions are provided for each document or link.

Checklist: How to raise concerns and make an effective complaint

When something’s not right, it’s okay to speak up: raising concerns and complaints are part of an organisation’s everyday business. This OPAN checklist provides the information and questions you may need to raise a concern or make a complaint with your service provider. The checklist guides you through the process with clear suggestions and a strategy. You are encouraged to download and print this checklist when making your complaint, there is space to add your own notes and questions.

Formal complaints to The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

Visit the webpage to learn about the complaints process and how to make an effective formal complaint to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

Top tips: Making a complaint fact sheet - multiple languages

Read the top tips when making a complaint about aged care quality or services you received from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. This sheet is available in English and 24 other languages.

A little yarn goes a long way

The A little yarn goes a long way brochure from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has been developed to inform older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and their friends and family, about the support available to help them resolve concerns about aged care services, and why it’s important to raise these concerns. This resource is available in 7 different languages including: Alyawarra, Arrernte, English, Luritja, Pitjantjatjara, Torres Strait Creole and Warlpiri.

My Aged Care guide to making a complaint

There are different ways to make a complaint, depending on what the issue is. You have the right to raise your concerns about the information, service or care you receive from My Aged Care, your assessor or service provider.

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