New updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) under construction and coming soon! Please feel free to Contact Us with topics you would like to see us cover in this FAQ section.
When might I need an advocate?
Everyone’s needs are different, so identifying the times when you need an advocate can vary. It may be when you are:
- Feeling pressured to make a choice
- Not satisfied with the care you are receiving
- Not satisfied with decisions made about you
- Wanting information regarding accessing services or additional support
What do Elder Rights Advocates do?
Our job is to listen and support you and your family to identify and then advocate for solutions that best respond to your particular circumstances. Sometimes this requires just one phone call and the provision of some information. Other situations may involve several phone calls over an extended period and perhaps one of our Advocates meeting with you face to face and/or attending a meeting with you. Our advocacy work often involves us needing to advocate strongly to an aged care service and challenging them to provide better care. We always negotiate the advocacy strategy in partnership with you and your family, wherever possible providing you with the information you need to successfully advocate for yourself without needing us present. However, where we need to be there to get the result you need and deserve, we will be there by your side.
Is Elder Rights Advocacy a free service?
Yes. There is no charge for our Advocacy and Information Service. Please don’t hesitate to phone us on 1800 700 600 or (03) 9602 3066. Most of our community education work is also free of charge, although we do charge fee-for-service for some sessions for aged care service providers.
Why do I often get an answering machine when I ring your service?
Sorry! We are a very busy service and we often have more calls coming in than we have people here to answer the phones. Please do leave a message. We always check the messages as soon as we can and will get back to you.
My situation is very complex and difficult – I don’t want other people knowing all my details
Our service is confidential and we respect your privacy. If our Advocates need to talk about your situation with other people (e.g. to help negotiate a solution) they will your always seek your permission and only share details if you agree and give permission.
What are your normal office hours?
Our Advocates staff the phone lines between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Outside these hours you may get an answering machine or reception service. Also between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday you may get an answering machine if all our Advocates are on other calls.
Is the 1800 700 600 number free from a mobile?
I rang the 1800 700 600 number and got a different service in another state
The 1800 700 600 is a national number organised through the national Older Person’s Advocacy Network (OPAN) of which we are the Victorian member. The line is set up to go to the OPAN member in the state/territory from which the call is made. So, for example, if a daughter or son living in South Australia tried to ring us about their parent who lives in Victoria, then the call would finish up with OPAN’s South Australian member, the Aged Rights Advocacy Service. In these situations, if calling from interstate about a Victorian matter, best to use our Victorian landline, (03) 9602 3066.
Are you truly independent? If you rely on government funding, you probably have to tow the government’s line don’t you?
We are an independent non-profit organisation governed by a Board of Management. While we do receive government funding and are required to operate within the guidelines for that funding (the National Aged Care Advocacy Program, NACAP) we are totally free of government influence in making our day to day decisions in supporting older people and their families. We are also totally independent of aged care service providers. Our staff and Board are not involved in any capacity as a representative of service providers. Rest assured, where we need to be strong and forthright in our advocacy, we have no hesitation in being so.