AUSTRALIA’S Aged Care Complaints Commissioner Rae Lamb has denied the majority of older Australians are not aware of the national complaints process.
In a previous article The Senior quoted figures from a statement by National Seniors Australia which said 60 per cent of older people have never heard of the Aged Care complaints commissioner and 65 per cent feel there are no options to complain.
This article has been disputed by Commissioner Rae Lamb. “To report that the National Seniors survey shows ‘the majority of older people (60 per cent)’ have never heard of us is incorrect. The sample for the survey was members of National Seniors Australia – more than 97 per cent of respondents were members. What is correct is that 60 per cent of this limited sample said they did not know about us. That is not the majority of older Australians.
“I would also point out that reporting ‘…65 per cent (of older Australians) felt there are no options for where to take their concerns’ is also incorrect. According to the report, 8 per cent of respondents actually reported that they felt there are no options for where to take their concerns. More than 56 per cent reported that they did not know or that the question did not apply to them.
“The National Seniors report is useful in that it indicates overall the lack of aged care service literacy within its membership, but it cannot be taken as indicative of the literacy of nearly 1 million people currently receiving Australian Government funded aged care services.”
Ms Lamb acknowledged there was more to do to ensure people knew where to go to when they had concerns about aged care.
“Raising awareness is a priority for us,” she said.
“As Complaints Commissioner, my staff and I work hard to increase public awareness of our role. A 47 per cent increase in complaints in recent years, as reported in my 2017-18 annual report, is evidence that we are succeeding.”
Anyone who has a complaint can contact the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner on 1800-550-55 2 or www.agedcarecomplaints.gov.au.
Complaints can be made confidentially or anonymously