Your Aged Care Guide

  1. Check Eligibility

How do I know if I need to look at moving into care?

Making the decision to move into care is a difficult decision at any stage. The first signs of needing support with daily living are when the normal everyday tasks become too difficult to manage on your own. The best thing to do is talk about how you are feeling with someone you know and trust. Family members, close friends or your local doctor are a good place to start. Or you can contact My Aged Care or your local Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).

How do I know if I should go into care permanently or for short time?

If your need for support is short-term due to a temporary change in your health or circumstances then you may only need to enter care on Respite. Respite is a short period, of up to 63 days in any one calendar year, of temporary accommodation in an aged care home.

Commonly respite is used for:

  • Trying out a home before making a decision to move permanently
  • A carer or support person might be going away on a holiday or unavailable for a period of time
  • A carer or support person may need a break from their caring or support role, or
  • In emergency situations

If the initial reason you are considering care in the first place if of a more permanent nature; then you are looking for a home where you can receive permanent and long-term support.

How do I become eligible for care?

Your local Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) will conduct an assessment and provide you with an Aged Care Assessment Record (ACCR); your record will confirm your entitlement to entre care on either a permanent or respite basis.

The assessment is a series of questions about your life and lifestyle by health care professional. They are free of charge, can be done in your own home and you are entitled to have an advocate present.

What do I do once I have my Aged Care Assessment Record (ACCR)?

Contact and make appointments to visit at least 3 nursing homes in your local area. Make sure you take a copy of your ACCR with you to your appointments, have a list of questions ready and take a family member of friend with you.

  1. Find a Home

What do I look for or ask when I visit the 3 homes?

Look for and observe the following:

  • How fresh, clean and presentable was the home?
  • How friendly, calm and professional are the team working at the home? Were you made to feel welcome?
  • Were the team visible as you walked around and did they interact with current residents with a kind, respectful and caring approach?
  • Did the residents living there look neat, tidy, relaxed and happy?
  • What meal was being served? Did it smell good and was it presented well?
  • Did you get an opportunity to meet the manager? If so did you observe the interaction of the manager with team members and current residents?
  • How did the team members interact with each other as you walk around?
  • Was the information provided to you during your appointment simple and easy to understand?
  • Were there opportunities for residents to engage in activities independently?

Some suggested questions for you to ask:

  • Can I bring personal items from home to make my room more comfortable?
  • Can I have a copy of your monthly activities / lifestyle program and your menu?
  • What are the costs of coming into this home, what are my payment options?
  • What services do you provide over and above other nursing homes?
  • Have you got information I can take away with me?
  • What kind of personal care should I expect to receive?
  • How many residents do you look after and how many staff do you have on each shift?
  • What qualifications does your staff have and what ongoing training is provided?
  1. Confirm the Costs

The Living Longer Living Better Reforms took effect from 1 July 2014. They aim to provide more choice and flexibility for people needing aged care. In relation to Residential Aged care, this flexibility includes how people want to pay for their accommodation costs as well as increasing the scope for residents to purchase additional services and amenities. Ultimately, consumers and carers can exercise more power and choice in the design and delivery of their care.

Note: any residents in an aged care home before 1 July 2014 will not be affected by the reforms.

How much does respite cost?

The current rate of respite is set by the Department of Social Services, as at 1 January 2015 it was $47.15 per day. It is our requirement that you pay for the entire stay in advance.  Click here for a current Schedule of Fees and Charges.

As a Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) pensioner, some or all respite daily fees are met by the DVA.  Please contact your DVA advisor for more information in relation to your ongoing needs and requirements.

How much does permanent care cost?

From 1 July 2014, permanent residential care fees will be made-up of the Basic Daily Fee, a Means Tested Care Fee and a price for Accommodation.

The Basic Daily Fee is set by the Australian Government and is based on a % of the Age Pension. Click here for a current Schedule of Fees and Charges.

A Means Tested Care Fee is an additional contribution to the cost of your care and is worked out by the Department of Human Services or Department of Veterans Affairs and is based on a person’s income and assets.

The price for Accommodation is set by us and is based on a combination of the room features, room size, services offered and our location. You can choose how you pay for your Accommodation by paying a refundable deposit or a daily payment or a combination of both. For detailed information in regards to the price of accommodation when moving in with us please make your selection from the relevant care centre below.

  1. Contact your New Home

When you have made the decision contact your new home; they should have someone to help and guide you through the paperwork, what to pack and bring with you and how to prepare yourself for the move. You may also want to visit a second time and have a closer look at the room, have lunch with some of the residents who already live there or chat to the Manager a little more about the move, it is understandably a stressful and emotional time.

  1. Moving In

Make sure you have as much on the day of the move and that your family, carer or support person has lots of time to assist you with settling in and ensuring you feel as at home as possible.

Remember to bring some personal items to make your room feel a little more like your own. You may even like to ask if your family can stay and have lunch with you, that way there is no need for them to rush off.

Our team members will do whatever they can to support you during this time so please don’t hesitate to ask.