What is Advocacy?
Advocacy is the process of standing beside someone and supporting them to:
- understand and exercise their rights
- have their voice heard on the issues that are important to them.
What is an Advocate?
An advocate is an impartial person, who:
- takes the time to listen and understand your views and wishes
- informs you of your rights and responsibilities
- assists you to explore your options and make informed decisions
- supports you to raise your concerns and work towards a resolution
- provides practical assistance such as help to write a letter or raise your concerns at a meeting
- speaks for you in situations where you don’t feel able to speak for yourself
- increases your capacity to self-advocate
- engage with the aged care system including My Aged Care and the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner
- transition between aged care services
- make informed decisions about the care they receive
- exercise their right to choice in accessing and receiving aged care services
- have their aged care rights better understood, recognised and upheld
- resolve problems or complaints with aged care providers in relation to the aged care services they receive
- address issues that impact their ability to live in their own homes, with the aim of preventing premature admission to aged care facilities and focusing on wellness and reablement.
OPAN Advocacy Services
Older Persons Advocacy Network offer free aged care advocacy services that are independent and confidential. The services focus on supporting older people and their representatives to raise and address issues relating to accessing and interacting with Commonwealth funded aged care services.
Older Persons Advocacy Network offer advocacy services that are rights based. They seek to ensure that aged care consumers understand and exercise their rights and participate, to the maximum degree possible, in the decisions affecting their care. Older Persons Advocacy Network advocates always place the consumer at the centre of the process and act at the consumer’s direction.
Older Persons Advocacy Network advocates are skilled and experienced professionals who have extensive aged care knowledge. To find out more about the Older Persons Advocacy Network Organisation in your state/territory go to our OPAN Network Page.
Older Persons Advocacy Network organisations assist older people, including their families and representatives:
- who are receiving Commonwealth-funded aged care services; or
- who are seeking to receive Commonwealth-funded aged care services.
Commonwealth funded aged care services that we can provide advocacy support for include:
- Residential aged care
- Home Care Packages
- Commonwealth Home Support Programme services (CHSP)
- The Commonwealth Continuity of Support (CoS) Programme
- Commonwealth-funded dementia services
- Flexible care services, including: the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program, the Innovation Pool Program, Multi-purpose services, Transition care and Short-term restorative care.
Older Persons Advocacy Network is committed to ensuring aged care advocacy services are accessible to all consumers including people who are Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, people living with dementia, Veterans and care leavers, people who are financially or socially disadvantaged, and people at risk of homelessness.