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New guide on home care rights for older people

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has issued a new guide on home care and human rights for older people.

28 November 2012

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‘Your rights to home care’ aims to empower older people so they know they are entitled to a home care service that respects their human rights, however funded, and what to do if those rights are at risk.

The guide includes several sections, including:

  • what to look for when searching for a home care provider;

  • case studies with examples;

  • a checklist of rights home care users are entitled to;

  • funding for home care services; and

  • how to make a complaint.

Home care inquiry lead commissioner Baroness Sally Greengross said: “We hope that this guide will offer a lifeline to older people and their support networks in helping them to understand what their rights to home care are.

“Choosing a home care service for yourself or a loved one can be a complicated and emotional process so any help the Commission can offer to provide clarity has to be a good thing,” said Greengross.

Publication of the guide follows the launch of the Commission’s ‘Close to Home’ inquiry report a year ago, which showed that many older people are reluctant to complain about inadequate care.

The new report was welcomed by industry experts. “Action on Elder Abuse welcomes the publication of this useful guide to human rights and home care.

“Our experience tells us that older people often do not know their rights, and can find it difficult to raise concerns about the quality and reliability of their care. This easy-to-understand guide will therefore be a useful aid to ensuring that they can both understand and access their rights,” said Gary Fitzgerald, chief executive of Action on Elder Abuse.

Public service trade union Unison said: “We fully support the EHRC’s new guide. Respect for service users’ human rights is integral to a dignified system of homecare and chimes with our own Ethical Care Campaign. It is vital that homecare workers are provided with the necessary levels of training and support in their role and crucially enough time so they can provide the best possible care.”

For a copy of the guide, see

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