Is there a cost for ARAS assistance?
ARAS assistance is free of charge to consumers. The Commonwealth and State governments provide funding for ARAS to offer advocacy, information and education services.
Can I remain anonymous?
If you wish to remain anonymous ARAS can provide information about your rights and responsibilities, and discuss your concerns in general terms. If you wish us to represent you it will be necessary for your identity to be known to the advocate. Your identity will be protected until you give permission for information to be disclosed to anyone else.
Will I have to come to the ARAS office to meet an advocate?
ARAS advocates will discuss with you the most suitable venue for a face-to-face meeting. Whether it is a private dwelling, a Residential Care Facility or a local library or café, the advocate will try to accommodate your wishes whilst maintaining confidentiality.
Do advocates travel to rural areas to help consumers of aged care services speak to their care providers?
Due to resources, the advocate will address most concerns from rural areas by phone, and this is usually successful. However, the advocate will travel to an area if, for example, a facility is home of concern.
Advocates also do regular visits to country areas to provide information and education sessions. They can organise to visit individual consumers at that time if required.
How long will I have to wait to talk to an advocate?
ARAS will respond for the direct need for Advocacy assistance within two (2) working days.
Can ARAS answer my questions about aged care services?
ARAS can provide general information about aged care services e.g. Residential Care, Respite Care, Community Aged Care, Care Packages, and Day Care Centres, including how to obtain services.
How can ARAS assist me?
Advocates can assist you to make comments or complaints about aged care services or assist you to resolve specific issues of concern.
Can ARAS give me some tips about speaking up?
ARAS can support older people to self-advocate. A Fact Sheet entitled 'How to Advocate for Yourself and Others' contains information to help you prepare to speak up.
Can ARAS give legal advice?
ARAS can make a referral to professional legal advice and information service.
Can an ARAS advocate visit me at the aged care facility I live in and keep their visit confidential?
Our practice is to inform the facility that an advocate will be on site as this ensures that the right to access an advocate is visible and affirms the rights of the older person. It reinforces the resident's rights and that the facility has to operate under the legislative guidelines. The presence of advocates on site is empowering as it reinforces consumer safeguards assisting older people to remain autonomous and to have choice and control over how they will resolve their concerns.
Is it useful for the advocate to speak directly to an alleged abuser?
The Abuse Prevention Program advocate is often asked to speak to the alleged abuser. ARAS' policy is not to confront or associate with the alleged abuser as this may escalate the situation, placing people at risk and is probably not the most effective method of stopping the abuse.
Would ARAS advocate for me even though I live in a remote community?
ARAS is a statewide organisation and provides its services to people in remote communities. Advocates also travel regularly to rural and remote communities.
Can I choose to speak with an Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal advocate?
Yes, ARAS has both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal advocates and female and male advocates.
Can I have my family with me when I meet with the ARAS advocate and the service provider?
Yes, it is your choice to involve your family in meetings with the ARAS advocate or the service provider. The ARAS advocate will clarify their role with you and how they can advocate or represent you to the service provider.