What is the Duty of Care in Aged Care?


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When it comes to legal issues in aged care, the concept of ‘duty of care’ is paramount. In Victoria, understanding this duty of care and the rights of aged care residents is crucial for ensuring that our elderly receive the care and respect they deserve. Carbone Lawyers has over 30 years of experience in Melbourne and our aged care lawyers are committed to guiding you through any instances of abuse with empathy and expertise.

What Does Duty of Care Mean In Aged Care Settings?

The duty of care in an aged care environment refers to the legal obligation of care providers to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their residents. Codified in the Wrongs Act 1958 of Victoria, Duty of Care mandates aged care providers to steer clear of any action (or inaction) that could be reasonably expected to have a risk of harming residents. Beyond not harming the elderly in their care, providers also face the challenge of balancing the need for care with respect for the residents’ autonomy and dignity. 

Carers aren’t expected to be perfect, but actions such as administering the wrong medication, or inactions such as not installing appropriate safety equipment in bathrooms, this can result in serious injuries or even death for their residents. In these instances, we begin to see why the duty of care is so important.

If you or a loved one have been harmed by what you believe could have been a breach of duty of care, call the team at Carbone Lawyers for a free assessment of your case and expert advice on your options for compensation.

Legal and Ethical Requirements in Aged Care

Aged Care residents’ rights in Victoria are laid out in the Charter of Aged Care Rights. These include the right to high-quality and safe care, courteous treatment, and respect for the residents’ personal and cultural identity. Whilst different residents will have different requirements for care, they all deserve an environment free from neglect or abuse. 

When these rights are infringed upon, residents (or someone acting on their behalf) have a few options. For instances where the aged care facility itself or its staff have caused damages or harm to the person (emotionally or physically), or the property of a resident, they may be entitled to compensation and should start a free claim eligibility check with Carbone Lawyers to learn more about their options. 

Minor complaints with care can be registered on the My Aged Care website, whilst suspected or confirmed elder abuse should be reported via the national phone line of 1800 ELDERHelp.

Personal Injury Aged Care Lawyers

The duty of care in aged care, residents’ rights, and the associated legal and ethical requirements are in place to ensure the safety, dignity, and respect of our elderly community. If you or a loved one have been injured or otherwise harmed by an aged care facility not meeting their duty of care Carbone Lawyers are here to help.

If you need legal advice or are unsatisfied with your current representation in aged care matters, our team at Carbone Lawyers is ready to assist. Our ‘No Win, No Fee’ policy means that most personal injury claims have no upfront fees. We encourage you to contact us for more information. Or call 1800 369 888 for a consultation.

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