Aged care essentials
Before moving in to an aged care facility, there are typically three phases or steps you need to take.
Step 1: Obtaining approval
Before entering an aged care facility in Australia, your health must be assessed to determine your eligibility for care. The assessment can be performed by any doctor, nurse or social worker who is a member of an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT or ACAS in Victoria).
Step 2: Finding a home
To make sure you find a home that you are comfortable in and that will suit your needs, you may wish to visit a few different places. You can apply to as many homes as you like.
The accommodation costs for all aged care facilities are published on the Government's aged care website. This website also provides descriptions of the rooms and services available at each facility.
Step 3: Organising your finances
On entry to a facility, you will be required to pay an accommodation contribution or accommodation payment.
Some people will have their accommodation costs met in full or part by the Australian Government, while others will need to pay the accommodation price agreed with the aged care home.
The Department of Human Services (Centrelink) will advise which applies to you based on an assessment of your assets and income. There will also be a basic daily fee to pay and there may be a means-tested care fee which is determined by your level of income and assets. Some facilities offer you a higher level of service or a higher standard of accommodation or food for an additional daily fee called an extra service fee.
Your financial adviser can help with the decisions you need to make and which strategies are best suited to your circumstances. They can also help you keep your plans on track with an annual review, in case your circumstances, or external factors such as legislation, change.