Move into an Opal Home

Step 5: Move

Move into your new Opal care home

Moving into aged care can be a stressful time so we will always do our best to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

Here are some of the usual key steps involved in moving into one of our Opal care homes:

  • Meet with us before your move-in day: It’s preferable to complete as much of the paperwork as possible before your move so that your move-in day can be just about you and helping you settle into your new home. It’s also important that you have time to read through all the documents, agreements and forms so that you don’t feel rushed in any way.
  • Complete the Resident Agreement: If you’re able to come and meet with us before you move in, or alternatively on your move-in day, we will ask you to complete the Resident Agreement. The Resident Agreement is a legal document that outlines the terms of your residency, your rights and responsibilities and also those of Opal as your aged care provider. The Resident Agreement also details information relating to your financial obligations. It is important that you take the time to read and fully understand the Resident Agreement, including any schedules that form part of the Residential Agreement before you sign it. The care home’s administrative officer will be able to help you if you’re unsure about any of the terms of the Resident Agreement. You may also want to seek independent legal advice.
  • Move-in: We will provide you with many of the furnishings you need including a bed, linen, bedside table, over-bed table, chair and cupboard space, however you may like to bring some of your own things to make it feel like home. In your Welcome Pack, you’ll find a copy of our Welcome Home guide, which details everything you need to know about life in your new home. Your Welcome Pack will also include a list of suggested items to bring with you into care as well as other useful information about preparing for your move.


FAQ's about moving in:

What if I change my mind after I’ve signed the Resident Agreement?
You have a 14-day cooling-off period during which time you may withdraw from the Resident Agreement by notifying us in writing. You will, however, be required to pay any fees or charges accrued during the time you were in the home. We will refund any other amounts that you have paid under the Resident Agreement.

Can either Opal or I make changes to the Resident Agreement?
Changes can be made to the Resident Agreement but both Opal and you need to agree to the changes.

What if I am unable to sign the Resident Agreement?
If you are unable to sign the agreement, someone who holds a Power of Attorney for you may complete it on your behalf.

What methods of payment does Opal accept for Refundable Accommodation Deposits?
The lump-sum RAD payment for accommodation is usually made via direct deposit (EFT), direct debit or bank cheque.

What methods of payment does Opal accept for monthly fees?
At Opal, we ask all our residents to complete a direct debit form as this is the easiest, most reliable and trackable way to pay your monthly fees.

What happens if I cannot pay my fees on time?
In some cases, new residents may need to or choose to sell an asset, such as a home, in order to pay the fees agreed to in the Resident Agreement. As it can take some time for these larger transactions to be completed, it’s important to have an alternative means of paying the fees and charges to which you have agreed. As with all financial matters relating to your aged care, we encourage you to seek independent financial advice to ensure that you are able to cover any fees and charges listed in your Resident Agreement to avoid additional stress.

Do I need a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that appoints someone else to act on your behalf in matters of money and property. You can get further advice about preparing a Power of Attorney from a solicitor, a community legal centre, a State or Territory trustee company or your local Magistrate’s Court. We strongly encourage all residents to consider appointing a Power of Attorney prior to moving into care so that you have a trusted person in place to make decisions in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

What does Guardianship mean?
In the event that you are unable to make decisions about your personal affairs and you don’t have a Power of Attorney in place, a Guardian may be appointed by a State or Territory Government to act on your behalf.


Managing your affairs when you move into an Opal care home

Correspondence with the Department of Human Services (DHS)
After you move into care, there may be some ongoing correspondence with the Department of Human Services about matters such as the Means-Tested Care Fee or other changes to your financial status.

You may prefer to appoint a nominee or someone who can act on your behalf in dealing with DHS. To appoint a nominee, please complete an Appointment of Nominee form, which is available at any of our care homes.

Personal preferences in the event of serious illness
You may wish to provide us with information about your personal preferences in the event of serious illness when you move in. You can do this formally via a Living Will or Advance Health Directive, which is a written statement of what health care you wish to have should you no longer be able to take part in decisions about your medical treatment. Please speak to a team member if you would like to communicate these preferences to the team.

Your Will
It is important to have a current will to ensure that your estate and funeral requirements are executed according to your wishes. It is also a good idea to inform your new aged care home of the details of the Executor of your will so that this person can be contacted if needed.


Checklist of people to notify of your move

Here are a number of people and organisations who may need to know that you have moved into care. Here’s a checklist to help you notify them:
☐ Your pension provider.
☐ Australian Tax Office.
☐ Medicare.
☐ Your medical insurance company. 
☐ Your superannuation company. 
☐ The RTA for your driver’s licence. 
☐ Your local post office.
☐ Your bank, building society or credit union.
☐ Your local office of the Australian Electoral Commission.
☐ Other aged care homes to which you may have applied.
☐ Family members. Friends and neighbours.
☐ Doctor and other health professionals.
☐ Your gardener or lawn mowing person.
☐ Your cleaner or other home help.
☐ Meals on Wheels and other community support services.

Support and additional resources to assist with a move into residential aged care

Some residents and their families find the move into care overwhelming and stressful, however, it’s important to also recognise that aged care can be the beginning of a very positive new chapter for many people. If you choose the right care home, your experience in aged care can be a time of great comfort, compassionate care, community and companionship and a place to enjoy a lifestyle that will bring meaning and joy to your days.

If you or your family are struggling with the decision about whether to transition into care and need immediate support to assist with stress or anxiety, please contact your GP or call Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.


Some additional resources and support are also available

We wish you luck with your journey and hope that you will consider inviting Opal to be a partner in your care. As always, if you need help navigating any part of your pathway into care, please call us on 1300 048 519 to speak with one of our experienced team members.

5 Steps into Residential Aged Care

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Commonly asked questions about Aged Care

  • Once you have received your ACAT assessment, you can begin applying to as many care homes as you wish, but once you accept a place, it’s important that you let the other homes know that you no longer require their services.

  • Visiting a range of homes is often one of the best ways to decide which home suits your needs. To help you assess the suitability of the homes you visit, we have attached a short checklist at the end of this section. This will help you assess each home and ask some important questions to the providers you meet with.

  • The Department of Human Services (DHS) is the body that determines your financial situation. To do this, DHS conducts a Combined Income and Assets Assessment, which is a form that you need to complete and submit to the government.

  • Respite care is short-term care, including day respite, to provide your caregivers a break from caring when they need it. It can be planned or on an emergency basis and can be used for up to 63 days in a financial year. Many care homes offer day respite, which offers caregivers some flexibility to attend to personal needs and obligations as they arise.

  • The Combined Income and Assets Assessment form (SA457) is an extensive questionnaire with over 140 questions about what you and your partner/spouse own and earn. It’s important to understand that you are considered to own half your assets with your partner/spouse regardless of who holds the title to the assets. As part of your assessment, you will be asked to provide details of all assets owned by both of you.

  • Accommodation Charge (the cost of your room) - These are set by individual homes and varies from home to home

    • Basic Daily Care Fee (meals, laundry, cleaning and other day-to-day costs) – These are set by the Australian Government and is the same across every home in Australia.
    • Means-Tested Care Fee (to supplement the cost of your overall care) - These are set by the Australian Government based on an assessment of your personal financial situation.
    • Additional Services Fee or Extra Services Fee - (higher-end services and accommodation) These are set by individual homes and varies from home to home.In some homes, Additional Services or Extra Services are optional and in other homes, residents are required to purchase these services as a condition of entry

    For further information download our 5 step guide.