About aged care

About aged care

Introduction to aged care in Australia

The decision to move into residential aged care can sometimes be difficult. For some older people and their families, the process can trigger all kinds of emotions – fear, anxiety, guilt, loss or even relief – sometimes all at once.

The first reassuring piece of information you should know is that residential aged care in Australia is strictly regulated by the Government to ensure a high standard of care across the sector. So, while you may find that accommodation styles and standards differ between Care Communities, you should always receive quality care, no matter where you go.

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 Communities as you wish, but once you accept a place, it’s important that you let the others know that you no longer require their services.

  • Visiting a range of Care Communities is often one of the best ways to decide which one suits your needs. To help you assess the suitability of the Care Communities you visit, we have attached a short checklist at the end of this section. This will help you assess each Care Community 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 Communities 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 Care Communities and varies from between them.

    • 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 Care Community 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 Care Communities and varies from between them.
      Some offer Additional Services or Extra Services which are optional and in other Care Communities, residents are required to purchase these services as a condition of entry.

    For further information download our 5 step guide.