Step 8.6

How do I make a complaint to an aged care home?

Lodging Complaints

If you are not happy with an aspect of your care or other services you receive in the aged care home (nursing home), you have the right to express your concerns or make a complaint.

If you – or family members or others - are not happy with an aspect of your care or other services you receive in the aged care home (nursing home), you have the right to express your concerns or make a complaint (see points s, t, and u in the resident’s rights under the Charter of Care Recipients Rights and Responsibilities)

There are two ways to make a complaint:

1. Raise the complaint directly with the aged care home

This is usually the best initial course of action. Aged care homes are expected to include details of their complaint procedures as part of the resident agreement so you should know how to raise a concern and with whom.   The management staff of the home will always want to hear your concerns first and have the opportunity to work with you to fix the problem or find a solution as quickly and effectively as possible.

2. Make a complaint to the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission 

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission commenced operation on 1 January 2019. Its role is to protect and enhance the safety, health, well-being and quality of life of people in aged care. 

The Commission assumes the functions of the former Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, and is committed to promoting high-quality care and services to safeguard everyone who is receiving Australian Government funded aged care. 

If you want to make an enquiry or raise a complaint about the quality of care or services being delivered to people receiving aged care services subsidised by the Australian Government, you can contact the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission on 1800 951 822 or visit

Providers must not discontinue care or services, refuse access or otherwise take action against a person because they have made a complaint. They must address complaints fairly, promptly and confidentially.

Annie Donaldson

agedcare101 Registered Nurse and Carer

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A special thanks to our contributors

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.