OPAN helps tens of thousands of older people resolve their issues with government-funded aged care services each year.
Our national team of advocates is here to ensure your rights are upheld and your wishes are met, whether you are living independently at home or in residential care.
Our services are free, independent and confidential. OPAN is always here to provide older people with assistance but you may want to, and be able to speak up for yourself. This toolkit is here to empower you to do that.
What is self-advocacy?
Self-advocacy puts you in the driver’s seat. It is the ability to speak up for yourself on issues that are important to you. Speaking up for yourself can be empowering and supports your independence.
You might want to speak up – using self-advocacy when you
are finding it difficult to access aged care services
have a concern about your aged care services
don’t feel like your aged care services are meeting your needs
want to make a complaint.
This toolkit aims to make it easier for you to access the information you need to to speak up for better aged care.
You can also access this information as a print booklet below or order a copy today.
If you run into problems, or you just need to talk things over, our professional aged care advocates are here for support.
Self-advocacy - speaking up
Self-advocacy – or speaking up – puts you in the driver’s seat. It’s about maintaining your own power, and 'knowledge is power.’ Gwenda Darling, a member of OPAN’s National Older Persons Reference Group, explains self-advocacy and shares her tips for getting the services you need to age well.
Documents and external links
Learn more about OPAN and self-advocacy. These documents and websites offer help, strategies, and practical information. Brief descriptions are provided for each document or link.
A guide to self-advocacy - what you need to know for better aged care
This OPAN guide gives you steps to follow and some practical tips to help you get started with self-advocacy or speaking up. Being confident to speak up for yourself can take time. It takes planning, patience and sometimes, persistence. Download or print it for easy access.
OPAN's Self-advocacy toolkit print booklet contains a step-by-step guide to making yourself heard and checklists to help you speak up for better in home and residential care. It also covers your aged care options when leaving hospital and tips for making an effective complaint.
Aged Care Engagement Hub Department of Health and Aged Care
A range of changes are being made to aged care, in response to the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. There are a range of ways you can be involved in the reforms, including surveys, webinars, online workshops, consultation papers and face-to-face events.