Your rights being abused? There's a new, free support service

The aim of the program is to provide free, independent and confidential advocacy support for older Australians. Source: Pixabay

From today, Australians aged 55 and above will have access to a free nationwide support network designed to protect their rights and increase their voice.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt launched the new National Aged Care Advocacy Program, which will be delivered by the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), and funded by the federal government to the tune of $25.7 million over the next three years.

“A key element of our ageing and aged care reform agenda is empowering older Australians ensuring they have voices to speak up for them when they need it most,” Wyatt said in a statement.

The program offers people over the age of 55 free and confidential aged care advocacy services, education sessions and information about aged care services, referrals and the rights and responsibilities of consumers.

Read more: The tell-tale signs your elderly family member is being abused

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People needing help should visit the OPAN website or take advantage of the national freecall number, where they will be connected to a local care advocacy organisation.

Wyatt noted that the issue of elder abuse was of particular concern to the Turnbull Government, with the program receiving additional funding to tackle this insidious problem.

“In addition to our $15 million elder abuse election commitment, I have provided OPAN with an additional $1 million towards its work on continuing elder abuse prevention and support activities,” he said.

For more information, visit the OPAN website or call 1800 700 600.

What do you think of the initiative? Do you feel that older Australians need more of a voice when it comes to aged care and consumer rights? 

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