Aged care representatives and agents can speak on your behalf as a recipient of aged care services.
As a Home Care Package provider, we support our clients in co-designing their care plans and finding services and products that can enhance their independence at home. The client is always at the centre of the decision-making process.
However, if you believe you need additional help in speaking to My Aged Care or your providers, you can appoint a representative or an agent.
What is a representative?
A representative is a person or organisation you nominate to speak and act on your behalf.
This can be a trusted family member, friend or organisation. They can:
- communicate with My Aged Care, assessors and service providers on your behalf, or with you
- assist you in making decisions or make decisions about aged care assessments and referrals for aged care services, and
- seek and update personal information held by My Aged Care
There are two types of aged care representatives.
If you have capacity to make decisions and provide consent, and would like additional help in communicating, you can appoint a regular representative.
A regular representative can be involved in decisions about your care, but they must
- seek your permission first before discussing your personal My Aged Care information with anyone, and
- consult you (and your support network, if applicable) on all decisions and actions they make on your behalf
Even if you have appointed a regular representative, you can still communicate directly with My Aged Care, your assessor or your service provider.
For older people who do not have decision-making capability and who are unable to provide consent, an authorised representative is required.
An authorised representative can speak and act on behalf of the older person, but must:
- ensure that decisions and actions made on their behalf are in their interest,
- act according to the conditions in the legal documentation submitted to My Aged Care (see details below), and
- keep their personal My Aged Care information confidential and not disclose it to any unauthorised persons
If the older person with an authorised representative wishes to speak to My Aged Care directly, they will need their authorised representative present.
The Department of Health and Aged Care has a list of approved community organisations or advocacy groups who have met the Department’s criteria to support vulnerable older Australians in My Aged Care. You can search for them here.
A Public Guardian can also be appointed to make decisions for an older person lacking decision-making ability.
Documents required for authorised aged care representatives
Requirements differ per state and territory, but some common legal documents that My Aged Care require include
- enduring power of attorney (ACT, Queensland and Victoria only)
- Advance Health Directive (ACT and WA not included), or similar
- enduring guardianship
My Aged Care will also require medical evidence, in addition to the above documents, to further establish that the older person has lost the capacity to make decisions and provide consent.
An agent is a professional who, with your consent, can be involved in aged care discussions with you and access and update some of your information. They can do what a regular representative can do, but they can’t make My Aged Care decisions for you.
Your agent supports you in a professional capacity, so they can’t be a family member or friend.
How to appoint an agent or representative
If you’ve already had your assessment, you can:
- Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 with your chosen person or organisation to set up a support relationship.
- Complete and submit the Appointment of a support person form or Appointment of a support organisation form online, through Services Australia or by post.
- When My Aged Care receives your completed form, they may call you if they need more information.
It can take up to 10 business days to process and establish a representative relationship. If your situation changed and you urgently need someone to represent you, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
Remember that the person you appoint as representative or agent should be someone you trust, as they will have access to your personal information. They will also receive copies of any Home Care Package letters and other correspondence you may receive.
If you are a Home Care Package recipient or thinking of applying to My Aged Care, you can give us a call on 1300 65 11 33 or fill out our online form. We’d love to hear from you!