When aged clients are violent or abusive – the ability of home care providers to cease care

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There are different legislations that relate to home care providers who wishes to cease providing care to a client.

The Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth) is important in this case as it protects the client and prevents an Aged Care Provider from depriving him or her of the necessary care without following a due process.

The Workplace Health & Safety legislation therefore can be considered in determining whether the working environment is safe and without risks to employees. The workplace includes the home of a client and criminal sanctions can be applied for breaches of the Workplace Health and Safety legislation.

There are certain cases that may determine care being stopped due to a conflict between a client and a care giver.  This may include cases where clients display violent or abusive behaviour, harass or bully the care giver, and generally have an unsafe home environment.

Under the s23.21(a) of the User Rights Principles 1997 a client’s place may be reallocated if the client cannot be cared for in the community with the resources available to the approved provider. The client must receive reasonable written notice that his or her place is being reallocated and be provided with assistance to make suitable alternative arrangements. If an approved provider decides to reallocate a client,  it is important that the client is provided with “due process”, which may include:

– reasonable written notice of the reallocation;

– an identification of the client’s responsibilities and how the provider does not have the resources to continue to provide care;

– preparing a “transition” strategy and assisting the client to make suitable alternative arrangements.

There is a risk that, if it is determined that the provider did in fact have the resources to continue care, they may be compelled to resume caring for the client, or may receive a sanction under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth) for non compliance.

Home care providers need protecting. Are you dealing with an aged abusive client?

Call our office and speak with our client engagement team for an appointment with one of our Elder Law lawyers. Call us on (07) 3252 0011.