Commissioner launches new guide on older people’s rights in care homes
The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales has launched a new guide for older people, which provides crucial information about their rights when moving into and living in a care home.
The Commissioner developed the guide to help older people and their families to better understand the rights they have, what they can do if they are concerned that their rights are not being upheld, and details of organisations that can provide help and support, including the Commissioner’s own advice and assistance team.
The guide includes information about rights relating to living in a care home that older people and their families are often not aware of, such as the right older people have to be involved in decisions about their care, rights relating to contact with family members, and rights to access services such as health services. In addition, the guide also provides information on rights relating to paying for care, an issue that is often of great concern for older people and their families.
The Commissioner is distributing the guide to every care home in Wales so it can be included in welcome packs provided to older people when they move into a care home.
She has also produced a shorter version of the guide that will be distributed to older people and their families throughout Wales, through community-based organisations and at engagement events.
The guide was developed with support from older people, as well as experts from Wales and the UK to ensure the guide helps older people and their families to make informed decisions and access help and support if they are concerned about their rights.
Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:
“A key part of my role as Commissioner is protecting and promoting older people’s rights, including the rights of older people living in care homes.
“Knowing about our rights when living in a care home, and what we can do if we feel our rights are not being upheld is crucial, but understanding these rights can be difficult as they are shaped by different legislation that has been introduced and updated over a period of many years.
“That’s why I have produced this guide, to provide older people and their families with important information about the rights people have, together with details of key organisations – including my office – that can provide help and support relating to rights.
Bethan Mascarenhas, who runs the Old Vicarage Care Home in Llangollen, said:
“Making the decision to move into a care setting can be a daunting process but through the work of Heléna and her team, people now have an accessible and informative resource, which will help to empower them in all aspects of life and the care they receive.
“This is an excellent guide that will enable those in our care to understand their rights and to make sure their voices are heard and valued.”
Gillian Baranski, Chief Inspector of Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) said:
“Care homes across Wales provide a warm and welcoming service for the people who live there, but we all know how many things there are to think about when moving somewhere new. Being aware of your rights is so important and this guide produced by the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales is a useful document to read when moving to and living in a care home.
“Putting people first is a guiding principle of our work and ensuring their rights are being promoted and upheld is a key focus of our activities. If at any time you feel a care home is not championing the rights of people living there, we encourage you to let us know.”
The Commissioner added:
“I’ve sent copies of the guide to every care home in Wales so that they can be included in welcome packs for older people, and will be distributing a shorter version of the guide to older people and their families throughout Wales.
“Upholding people’s rights is a vital part of delivering high-quality care, and I will continue to do all I can to promote awareness and understanding of the rights people have when moving into or living in a care home in Wales.”