When it comes time to start thinking about getting more help for yourself or an older loved one, the prospect of navigating the Aged Care system can be quite daunting. Questions about who qualifies for Aged Care services, who pays for them, and where to find help, all need to be answered.
There is so much info out there it can be hard to navigate or find what is actually helpful, so to make the search easier, we’ve covered the “need to know” information and provided direction to the best resources so you can make informed decisions.
What is Aged Care?
Aged Care services refer to services provided to older people who need help to do the things they used to manage independently. This includes activities like grocery shopping, household tasks, and personal care tasks, such as showering or dressing. It also includes medical care, such as getting to appointments, or remembering to take medications. Aged Care services can also cover accommodation needs, home modifications and personal mobility equipment, such as a walker or wheelchair. Different people will require different services, depending on their particular situation.
Who is eligible for Aged Care Services in Australia?
Anyone who is over the age of 65 years (or 50 years, for people of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent) and needs any kind of help to do the things that they used to do, may be eligible for Aged Care services. If you want to find out more about your or your loved one’s eligibility for Aged Care services, you can use the eligibility tracker on the My Aged Care website.
How do I access Aged Care Services?
If you think you or a loved one might be eligible to receive Aged Care services, you will need to organise an assessment known as an ACAT. This assessment helps service providers understand what types of services you or your loved one might need and the level of care that will provide the best support for your circumstances. To receive the highest level of care, you or your loved one will need to be assessed as unable to live independently at home. This assessment outcome will make you or your loved one eligible for a subsidised place in an Aged Care facility.
How much is Aged Care in Australia?
The government subsidises the costs of Aged Care services for eligible people. The type of financial assistance that a person receives is based on the type of service that they need. Aged Care services can be provided at home, as a respite or short-term service, or within an Aged Care facility.
If you or your loved one require a higher level of care, such as that provided in an Aged Care facility, you will have to contribute towards some of the costs. What you pay will be determined by a means assessment and will depend on your specific financial situation.
While each Aged Care residence will have a slightly different price structure, you will likely have to pay a daily fee and some accommodation costs. Other optional costs may be required depending on the services you or your loved one need. To find out an approximate idea of the costs of living in an Aged Care community, you can use the government’s fee estimator tool on the My Aged Care website.
All the fees associated with the Aged Care services you will receive will be discussed and agreed on between you and your care provider before accessing the facility, so there will be no nasty surprises once you or your loved one have moved into care.
Navigating the world of Aged Care services can be a stressful prospect. It’s important to remember that help and information is readily available. Communities like TriCare Aged Care are here to help you find your way, discover who qualifies for Aged Care, and make the transition to Aged Care living as simple and stress-free as possible. We can meet with you and your family to discuss your individual situation, or even look over our Aged Care Guide with you. You can download it for free here.