Residential Aged Care
Many older people find that living at home becomes more difficult for a variety of reasons such as illness, disability, reduced mobility, isolation or the problems of maintaining a large property. It is important to look at the reasons for not being able to cope and find out if there are services available in your area to help you remain at home. To find out about home support services contact My Aged Care, tel. 1800 200 422.
However, if your needs cannot be met by assistance in the home, these needs may be met in an aged care home.
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Residential aged care facilities
Care fees in aged care facilities
Accommodation payments in aged care facilities
Finding a residential aged care facility_Steps to take
Choosing the right residential aged care facility
Facilities can vary in style, size and age. Some give priority to certain groups, such as war veterans, Aboriginal people or people from non-English speaking backgrounds. Some facilities provide a secure area and/or a special program for people suffering with dementia.
Residential care facilities may be privately owned or run by church organisations, local councils and not-for-profit organisations. The Australian government accredits, regulates and subsidises residential aged care facilities.
What is respite?
Some facilities have short-term care called respite. This is normally used to give carers a break but can also be used when a carer becomes ill or needs time off for a planned hospital stay.
Am I eligible?
You will need to be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). ACATs assess and approve people for entry into aged care facilities. The assessment will determine the level of care you require and how that care can best be provided. To arrange an assessment you will need to contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. A member of the ACAT will visit you and discuss your needs, including health, mobility and social needs. There is no charge for this assessment.
Are standards of care monitored?
The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (Quality Agency) accredits and monitors care standards in all facilities. Accreditation is the formal recognition that an aged care facility is operating in accordance with the legislative requirements of the Aged Care Act 1997 and is providing high quality care.
Facilities must be accredited by the Quality Agency in order to receive funding from the Australian Government.
Accreditation Reports are available at the Agency’s website, www.aacqa.gov.au.
How do I make a complaint?
If you are not satisfied with the service or care provided you can make a complaint to the Australian Government’s Aged Care Complaints Commissioner tel. 1800 550 552. The Scheme deals with complaints and concerns about aged care facilities.
You can also contact the Aged Rights Advocacy Service Inc. (ARAS). They can provide information about your rights and an advocate to help you resolve issues, tel. 8232 5377 or 1800 700 600 (country callers).
Commonwealth subsidised residential care facilities are also provided in larger regional centres in country areas.
In some small rural communities funding is provided by both state and Australian governments to enable hospitals/health services to provide aged care. These are called Multipurpose Services. Care may be offered in Multipurpose Services. An ACAT assessment is required and the same standards of care apply. However fees may differ from residential aged care facilities.