Every care home in Wales is set to receive a new guide explaining the rights of older people when they are moving into and living in a care home.
Living in a care home in Wales: A guide to your rights was launched by the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, this month. It is hoped that providers will include this information in their own welcome packs for the people they care for and support.
The guide was created 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.
It 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 guide was developed with support from older people, as well as experts from Wales and the UK.
Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said: ‘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.’
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.’