To be eligible to enter a residential aged care facility, you firstly require an assessment with the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) to determine your eligibility to access Residential Aged Care. To arrange an assessment, go to My Aged Care or free call them on 1800 200 422.
After you’ve been assessed you’ll receive a letter in the mail advising you of what aged care services you’ve been approved for. If you’ve been approved for permanent residential aged care, and you intend to move into an aged care facility, you’ll need to find an aged care provider that suits you. You can search for aged care providers in your area on the My Aged Care website.
When you choose a provider there are certain key issues to look for. For example, does the facility offer services that meet your needs and do you like the look and feel of the home? While the facility could meet your current needs, also consider if it will be able to meet your potential future needs too.
Other factors to consider when moving into an ACF include staffing ratios, the quality of meals, and activities on offer. Take a look here for more information to help you with moving into an aged care facility.
Before you move in, double-check with the facility which personal belongings you’re able to move in with. For example, some facilities will allow you to hang family portraits in your room, or bring your favourite recliner chair with you. Bringing personal items with you helps with feeling at home in your new home. Whether it’s family photographs, your favourite books, or your cherished ornaments, bringing personal items with you will hopefully help you to feel a little more comfortable.
You will bring your own clothes with you when you move. Because the nursing home will do your washing, make sure that everything is labelled so that it doesn’t get lost in the laundry. You’ll bring your toiletries too. While the aged care home provides necessities such as toilet paper, you might want deodorant and your favourite perfume, as well as some lipstick or your shaver.
Also, bring your current supply of medications when you arrive, both prescription and non-prescription. This includes vitamins and any natural medicines. While your doctor will prescribe your medications, the nursing staff will be administering your medication to you at your aged care home.
Some other items that you could bring to the aged care facility include small electronic items, but they’ll need to be tested and tagged before you can use them there.
If you use a wheelchair or any mobility device, bring it along with you when you move. Often there’ll be an occupational therapist or a physiotherapist who will assess your equipment to ensure that it is safe and suitable for you to use based on your current needs. While they can check the suitability of your equipment, at the end of the day it is up to you to maintain the equipment that you bring with you and have it serviced and repaired at your expense. Remember that maintaining your equipment will aid in you staying safe, mobile and active.
Pets are wonderful companions, and the idea of being forced to part with them can be unbearable. If you need to keep your pet with you, there are some facilities that allow pets, but there are rules surrounding this.
Pet ownership rules at a facility might include the type and size of the pet. There could also be rules surrounding the care of pets. Some facilities rely heavily on volunteers to help with pet care. But, you might be lucky enough to have a family or friend that is able to help you to keep your fur baby with you when you move.
As mentioned, when you move into an ACF, it’s great if you can relocate to a home that is close to friends and family. That way you’ll be able to see them more often. But remember that some places have restrictions on when you can see them. Be sure to discuss this when you inspect the facility. And make sure that there’s a nice garden, a cafe or a lounge room that you can spend time with your family at.
When you know which aged care home you’re moving into, you’ll need to let a bunch of places know about your move. This includes healthcare and medical specialists, Medicare and other relevant government organisations. You’ll also want to notify friends, family, and neighbours.
In some cases, you’ll need to change doctors when you move homes. There are some GP’s that will visit homes, but many are unable to. If you need to change doctors, ask the aged care facility if there’s a visiting doctor who will take on your care. Once you’ve arranged this, request to release your medical records to your new doctor.
And finally, redirect your mail to a loved one’s house, or to the aged care home. That way, if you’ve missed notifying any organisations, you’ll still get your letters, and be able to notify them at that time.
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