Aged care guide
Aged care assessment
Firstly, before choosing your new home, you’ll need to undergo an aged care assessment from the government.
An aged care assessment is completed by a member of the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or an Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) if you live in Victoria.
The assessment is normally organised through your doctor, another health professional or directly through the ACAT team.
It is conducted to assess the care needs of an individual and helps them access the most appropriate types of care, including approval for Australian Government subsidised care services.
They will spend time with you and your family discussing what the process involves and visit you at home or at hospital if an in-person assessment is thought to be necessary.
Why do I need an aged care assessment?
Aged care assessments involve cognitive screening and checks on how you are managing day-to-day chores such as showering, cooking, shopping and cleaning.
You will be asked about your general health and what kind of help or care you feel you need.
The assessment will also consider what government funding options are available to you and:
approve your eligibility for the appropriate level of residential aged care
provide you with information about residential aged care and home care services in your area
help you arrange respite care if this is needed; and
approve your eligibility for a package of community/home care to help you to continue living at home or refer you to other services that will help you to continue living at home.
Having an ACAT assessment does not mean you have to enter a residential aged care home, but not having one will delay the process should you need care.
Complete a Services Australia Financial assessment form
This form can be obtained through Services Australia or from a Bupa care home.
It’s not compulsory to complete an “Aged Care calculation of your cost of care” form. For those who choose not to complete this assessment, you’ll be charged the maximum means tested care fee and the full accommodation price.
Once you complete the form, return it to Services Australia. They will then send you an income and assets assessment letter. It could take up to six weeks before you receive the letter.
This letter details any costs you may need to contribute to your care and accommodation and should be provided to your preferred care home. The aged care assessment is valid for 120 days from the date that you receive your letter from Services Australia.