Caring for Older Australians


A charter on the rights and responsibilities of Older Queenslanders facilitated by "Older People Speak Out" on 18th November 2013


Older Queenslanders have the right to:

  • Live their lives free of discrimination on the grounds of age, gender, sexual preference, race, ethnicity, religion, beliefs, disability, health or socio-economic condition.
  • Access adequate food, water, shelter, clothing, affordable transport and health care through the provision of income, family and community support and information to support self-help.
  • The opportunity to work or to have access to other income-generating opportunities and to participate in determining when and at what pace withdrawal from the labour force takes place.
  • Access appropriate educational and training programmes including low-cost, relevant training in new technologies.
  • Live in environments that are sustainable, safe and adaptable to personal preferences and changing capacities.

Participation in the community:

Older Queenslanders have the right to:

  • Exercise choice to remain integrated in society and share their knowledge and skills with younger generations.
  • Be heard, consulted and listened to by all levels of Government on any matter affecting their welfare, dignity or quality of life.
  • Continue to seek and develop opportunities for service to the community, to be engaged and involved in movements or associations, and to serve as volunteers in positions appropriate to their interests and capabilities.
  • Advice and support, including financial support as necessary when family breakdown requires grandparents to take responsibility for the full-time care of their grandchildren, and when grandparents are denied a meaningful relationship with their grandchildren without justification which may constitute Child Abuse and Elder Abuse under Queensland law.

Care of Older Queenslanders:

Older Queenslanders have the right to:

  • Access family and community care, support and protection.  Community support mechanisms, including intergenerational contact, that can be adapted too suit individual needs are fundamental to preventing and/or alleviating social isolation and for maintaining the independence and health of older Queenslanders.
  • Access appropriate health care to maintain or restore an optimum level of physical, mental, social and emotional well-being and to prevent or delay the onset of illness.
  • Access social legal services and advocacy to enhance autonomy, safety and care.
  • To make decisions about their care and the quality of their lives.
  • Appropriate levels of residential aged care providing protection, rehabilitation and social and mental stimulation in a humane and safe environment.
  • Enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms when residing in any shelter, care of treatment facility, including full respect for their needs, dignity, beliefs and privacy.
  • Access appropriate services including disability support and interpreter services as required by those with cultural and linguistic difficulties.

Dignity and Respect:

Older Queenslanders have the right to:

  • Live their lives without fear and develop their talents within the law.
  • Access the educational, cultural, spiritual and recreational resources of society.
  • Live with dignity and security and free from physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse and financial exploitation.
  • Be valued and respected as individuals by all members of the Queensland community.


This Charter recognises that while older Queenslanders have specific rights, they also have responsibilities which balance the needs of the individual against the needs of the community as a whole.


Older Queenslanders will:

  • Take responsibility for their own actions as much as their capacity and capabilities permit.
  • Respect the rights and needs of others, recognising that the exercising of their individual rights does not affect others' individual rights.
  • Respect the rights of all in the community to live and work in an environment free from harassment and abuse.
  • Care for his or her own health and well-being, as far as he or she is capable.
  • Provide information about their relevant medical history and current state of health when necessary.


Caring for Older Australians

Public inquiry

This inquiry has concluded. The final report was released on 8 August 2011.

In undertaking the inquiry, the Commission had developed options for further structural reform of the aged care system so it can meet the challenges facing it in coming decades. In particular, the Commission had:

  • examined the social, clinical and institutional aspects of aged care in Australia, building on the substantial base of existing reviews into this sector
  • addressed the interests of special needs groups
  • developed regulatory and funding options for residential and community aged care (including the Home and Community Care program)
  • examined the future workforce requirements of the aged care sector
  • recommended a path for transitioning from the current regulatory arrangements to a new system that ensures continuity of care and allows the sector time to adjust
  • examined whether the regulation of retirement specific living options should be aligned more closely with the rest of the aged care sector
  • assessed the fiscal implications of any change in aged care roles and responsibilities.

In the course of the inquiry, the Commission consulted widely with older Australians, their carers, aged care providers, government agencies and other interested parties.

Further information

  • Productivity Commission Inquiry into Aged Care - Joint media release from the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Ageing (external link)
  • About the public inquiry process