About the Charter of Rights for People
in Need of Long-Term Care and Assistance
The Charter of Rights for People in Need of Long-Term Care and Assistance already plays a not inconsiderable role for those involved in the care sector. In April 2007, it was circulated by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth to some 27.000 organisations throughout Germany. The response to the Charter has been significant. This has been reflected in follow-up questions, requests for further copies, letters of agreement and also criticism and indications of intentions to implement the Charter. And to a growing extent, institutions involved in the care of older people are using the Charter as an instrument in their quality assurance systems.
The Charter was distributed broadly with the aim of drawing attention to it as a document that has to a considerable degree a binding function for the organisation of good quality care. With this in mind, the Charter is intended to act as a reference point for a broad spectrum of debate and give impetus to further changes in the entire care and support sector.
In addition to structural and organisation factors, the attitudes and values of people who are active in the field of long-term care, therapy and support have a decisive influence on the quality of life and health care of people receiving it. This is why the Charter makes a point of including values such as supportiveness, humanity and respect, since these are things that people in need of care and assistance all too often miss. For this reason one of the main objectives is to ensure that the Charter finds application in quality management systems with a basic value orientation.
Experience has shown that changing attitudes and values by means of modifying behaviour and perceptions is a very lengthy process. This means that the implementation process will continually be in need of new impetus if it is to be effective in the long run. The Information Center Long-term Care is supporting the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth in the publicising and long-term implementation of the Charter.
The Charter of Rights for People in Need of Long-Term Care and Assistance was developed in the context of the Round Table for Long-Term Care in the period 2003-2005 by various actors from the areas of long-term care, law and ethics.