You may have heard of a nursing home. Nowadays, these are referred to as Residential Aged Care Facilities or Aged care homes.
Sometimes ageing people are no longer able to live independently in their own home. Some of the various reasons for this include illness or disability. Residential aged care is an option for people who are unable to live independently any longer.
Who is Eligible For Residential Aged Care?
Many older people are eligible for Australian Government subsidised aged care in Australia. To determine your eligibility for residential aged care, you’ll require an assessment from the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). to arrange an assessment, contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or visit their website at www.myagedcare.gov.au.
For those of you who are self-funded retirees or a part pensioners, you’ll still need to have an assessment from the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) to determine your eligibility for residential aged care.
What Happens at the Assessment/ Meeting?
Once you’ve contacted My Aged Care to arrange an assessment, a meeting will be arranged with the Aged Care Assessment Team. An assessor from an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) will contact you to arrange a time to visit. You can refer yourself for an assessment, or a health professional such as your G.P. can do this for you.
Next, you’ll have a meeting with the ACAT assessor. They will call you to arrange a suitable meeting time. You are allowed to give the assessor permission to talk with your support people (e.g. a family member or carer). You are also able to have your support person with you during your meeting.
Some people might not have a support person, but still want an advocate. You can call the Aged Care Advocacy Line on 1800 700 600. They’ll help to raise your concerns and give you information about your rights in regards to the assessment process.
The next step is to develop a support plan with the assessor during your meeting. The plan will include the services and care needed to best meet your current needs. Based on the meeting, the assessor will reach a decision based on your care needs, your eligibility to receive care and the level of care that best meets your current circumstances.
Receiving an Outcome From My Aged Care
If the assessment determines that you are eligible for aged care support services, then you will receive a letter of approval from ACAT. If at any time your circumstances change, or your needs increase, you’re able to contact My Aged Care and request a new assessment.
In some circumstances, you might disagree with your ACAT assessment outcome. If this is your situation, you can write to the Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Health within 28 days, outlining your concerns regarding the outcome of your assessment.
Searching for a Residential Aged Care Facility
There are several aged care homes out there, offering many different experiences. The aim is to find the aged care facility that best suits your needs. Firstly, look at what the accommodation is like and how much it will cost you. Furthermore, look at what type of care they offer and whether it meets your current needs, and possible future needs. You can search for aged care service providers on the My Aged Care Website at https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/find-a-provider-choice. Once you have found a few homes that you would like to inspect, give them a call and arrange a tour.
It’s best to have a list of questions to ask them. Also consider taking a support person/ people with you to help you with your decision making. Here are some great tips to help you when looking at moving into an aged care facility.
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