Aged care can be a tricky topic to navigate. Before you embark on the aged care journey, you may want to consider some helpful tips.
The Australian Government provides funded aged care services to certain eligible older people. Even if you are eligible, you can still be required to contribute a portion of the costs, which vary for different types of care and different service providers.
Before you embark on the aged care journey, it’s helpful to consider the following:
Before you can receive government funded aged care services, you need to be assessed on your eligibility.
This is a two-step process:
- Register to be assessed: Before you can access government funded aged care services, you must register with My Aged Care. To register, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 (ensure you have your Medicare details handy).
- The assessment: During your initial conversation with My Aged Care, they will ask you a series of questions about your care needs to determine whether you need a formal assessment. The formal assessment will either be a home support assessment (if you need low level support to stay independent in your home) or a comprehensive assessment (if you have more complex care needs).
Aged care service options
Once a health assessment has been completed and you have been deemed eligible for aged care services, you will need to consider what type of services you require. This will be guided by the assessment process described above. There are a number of different care options available, including at-home support, aged care/nursing homes, short term and respite care.
You can search for an aged care home at the My Aged Care website. When considering your aged care options, it’s a good idea to make a list of important things you like in a home, e.g. number of bathrooms, balcony access, pets etc. It’s also a good idea to think about what you would like from the aged care facility, e.g. meal arrangements, access to shopping centres, cultural and social activities, privacy, and their policy on guests.
If you move into an aged care facility, the costs will be determined by a means test on your personal income and assets. You will be required to pay an accommodation contribution or accommodation payment. In addition, there will be a basic daily fee payable to the aged care facility.
Preparing for Aged Care can be emotional for families, however early preparation and good advice can take the stress out of aged care decisions for you and your family.
Published September 2018
Updated December 2022