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.
Information for print or download (PDF)
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.
How do I make a complaint?
If you are not satisfied with the service or care provided you can make a complaint to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, tel.
1800 951 822, www.agedcarequality.gov.au. The Commission resolves complaints about aged care services subsidised by the Australian Government.
Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) offers free, independent and confidential services that focus on supporting older people and their representatives to raise and address issues relating to accessing and interacting with Commonwealth-funded aged care services.
Tel. 1800 700 600, https://opan.com.au
Aged Rights Advocacy Service is the South Australian member of OPAN. An advocate’s role is to provide support to assist you in making a complaint, talking or helping with any of the advocacy services. It is a free confidential service. They can stand beside you or work on your behalf, at your direction, in a way that represents your expressed wishes. An advocate will always seek your permission before taking action. www.sa.agedrights.asn.au
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.