caring for dementia, care planning in aged care

Caring for dementia

Planning ahead

Establishing a new home

How we are caring for dementia matters, so planning ahead will help with your loved ones future, and puts things in place to make them feel comfortable. This includes establishing a new home.

Dementia has a huge impact not only on the person who has been diagnosed, but also on those closest to them. Often children of someone living with dementia find roles are being reversed as they become the caregivers.

How long will it take for my loved one to settle into the new environment?

Everyone’s different but on average you can expect most people to start feeling more comfortable and at home in around two to six weeks. It’s a big adjustment so try not to get disheartened if it seems to take a while. The most important thing is to just take each day at a time.

What should I do if my loved one seems unhappy and asks to go home?

When caring for dementia residents each day will be different. Sometimes just being aware that there will be good days and bad days means it can be easier to manage when things get tough.

Check in with the care team to find out how your loved one’s day has been and the things they’ve enjoyed doing. That way, if they are feeling negative you can redirect the discussion to talking about the highlights of their day.

Ensure that the care team are aware of the things that your loved one likes to do so they can be included in their daily activities. This will go a long way to creating positive feelings and helping them to feel at home.

I feel guilty for bringing my loved one into care. How can I deal with this feeling?

It’s normal to feel emotions like guilt, loss and even grief when your loved one moves into long-term care. You’ve probably been putting your loved one first and the rest of your life on hold for some time now. Remember that you’ve done the very best for your loved one. Dementia is a progressive disease and as the symptoms increase, caring for someone living with dementia becomes a full time job.

Many people find they experience a feeling of relief when their loved one moves into care. They are finally able to resume a more natural relationship and enjoy spending time with each other without the burden of constant care. They are also able to connect with other families who are going through the same thing often providing a wonderful support network.

Even if your loved one isn’t ready to move into long-term care, feel free to arrange for a chat with our knowledgeable team who’ll be happy to offer advice or put you in touch with other carers who are going through the same thing and can offer support and understanding about caring for dementia.

5 Steps into Residential Aged Care



Make sure the person requiring care has had an ACAT assessment.



Search for a residential aged care home suitability located.



Understand the costs associated with aged care.



Ensure you have all the relevant paperwork.



Check out our moving checklist to ensure the smoothest move possible.

opal pebble background opal pebble background

Start exploring Opal homes today

Find a home

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.