Find aged care

Step 2: Find

Find the best Care Community for you

If your ACAT has confirmed your eligibility to access residential aged care, the next step is to find aged Care Communities that meet your needs. This is often the most stressful part for families, however, with many Care Communities in most states across Australia, it’s very likely there’s an Opal HealthCare Community in your area. Just call us on 1300 048 519 and our experienced team will talk to you about your needs and what we have available in your area. If we’re unable to accommodate you within Opal HealthCare, we’ll do our best to help you locate an alternative provider.

Applying to aged Care Communities

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 an aged Care Community

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 ones 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.

If you’re considering an Opal HealthCare Community, here are some of the services we provide:

A range of care options including respite, dementia carepermanent care, and palliative care. Many Care Commnities also offer day respite.

  • High-quality person-centred care with a focus on meeting your individual needs.
  • A qualified nursing team on-site at all times to attend to your clinical and emergency needs.
  • Fresh meals prepared and cooked in the home kitchen by our dedicated qualified chef.
  • Assistance with daily living including bathing, dressing, and eating.
  • Access to a range of other health services including physiotherapy, podiatry, optometry and dental.
  • Medication management provided on-site.
  • Individually tailored social and recreational activities to bring joy and meaning to your days.
  • On-site laundry service and Opal cleaning services (not outsourced).
  • Private and companion bedrooms with basic furnishings included

Some things to consider when you visit a Care Community:

Standards and quality

  • Is the home accredited by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission?

First impressions

  • Are the buildings and grounds well maintained and is there access to outdoor space?
  • Does the team seem friendly and welcoming?

Location and accessibility

  • Are family and friends able to get there easily?
  • Are there enough parking spaces at the home?
  • Is the home close to amenities such as shops and parks?
  • Is there sufficient wheelchair access into the home and within the home?

Care team

  • Does the team know much about the residents’ lives and experiences?
  • Is the team trained to care for residents living with dementia?
  • How well does the team communicate with residents and relatives?

Care

  • How can you, your family or representatives, be involved in your care?
  • What training and qualifications does the care team have?
  • If your care needs change, will you be able to stay in the Care Community?
  • What other health professionals visit the Care Community regularly?

Accommodation, meals, and routines

  • Is there provision for married couples and for single residents?
  • How is room allocation determined – can you have your say?
  • Are the bathrooms shared or are there private bathrooms?
  • What are the meal arrangements? Times, meals for visitors, meals in your room, culturally diverse menus and special diets?
  • Is there a chef on-site to prepare and cook all the meals?
  • Is there a choice of food and how often does the menu change?
  • Are snacks available during the day and night?
  • Does the home allow you to keep pets or can pets visit?
  • Will you be able to continue to see your own doctor?

Social and lifestyle engagement

  • Are residents encouraged to stay active and do as much as they can for themselves?
  • Do the residents seem happy and occupied?
  • Are team members sitting and chatting with residents?
  • Are there amenities such as a common room, TV room, newspapers, books, and hairdressing services?
  • Are there regular social activities such as music, exercise classes, gardening, celebrations, bus outings?
  • Can family, friends and young children visit without restriction?
  • Are there team members who speak your language?

Final thoughts

  • How would you rate the Care Community you visited on a scale of 1 to 10?

5 Steps into Residential Aged Care

FAQ's on how to find aged care that is right for you

  • Using our find a Care Community search tool, you can filter through Care Communities based on the aged care services they provide and their location. Here you will be provided a list with details of each Care Community including accommodation options, pricing, life in our Care Communities and contact details. 
    We highly recommend visiting a range of Care Communities as it will help you better understand the lifestyle, services available, room suitably and gives you the opportunity to ask any questions to our team. 

  • Some important things to consider when finding an aged care home includes:
    -    Your health, physical, mental, social and spiritual needs.
    -    Budget and costs
    -    Accreditation and reputation 
    -    Safety and accessibility
    -    On-site services such as allied health, palliative care, dementia care and transport   
    -    Location
    -    Food some important questions to the providers you meet with.

  • Although most aged care homes provide additional health services, the range of services and support available will vary in availability, cost and quality. Some of the additional aged care and disability services we offer include:

    • Respite care
    • Dementia care
    • Palliative and end of life care
    • Wellness centres (rehabilitation and allied health)
  • To apply to one of Care Communities you will need to fill out application form and return it to the administrative officer in your preferred Care Community.  You can find our application form and detailed steps of the process here

  • You can apply to as many Care Communities as you wish. Once you accept a place please ensure you let the other Care Communities know that you no longer require their assistance.

  • 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.

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