A Guide to Aged Care

What is the Process?

A residential aged care facility provides accommodation and support for those who can no longer manage on their own and need more assistance on a daily basis. The decision to move into residential aged care is not easy. You should discuss what you should do with someone who respects your situation and knows you well. This could be a family member or your local doctor.


5 steps to moving into aged care

To live in a residential aged care facility, a person must consult with and be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) to establish the level of care required. For more information you can call ACAT directly on 1800 200 422. Essentially there are five steps to moving into aged care:

Step 1. Consultation with family doctor

Step 2. Obtain an ACAT Assessment

Step 3. Find a residential aged care facility that suits your needs and requirements

Step 4. Complete entry pack

Step 5. Entry into residential aged care

What is an ACAT Assessment?

An ACAT assessment is an evaluation by a member of your local Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) who is a health care professional in the area of seniors care. ACAT is responsible for deciding who is eligible for placement in an aged care facility. The assessment involves investigating a person’s mental, physical and social situation.

You may have someone with you during the assessment, such as a carer or family member. If you wish, you may instruct your doctor to provide your medical history to the ACAT representative. The assessment is provided by the Government free of charge.

Once you have made an appointment, a member of your local ACAT will visit you in your home or in hospital to assess your needs. The ACAT person will talk with you about what services you may need.

He or she will discuss the result of the assessment with you and arrange referrals to home care services or a place in residential care, if this is appropriate. The ACAT will provide you with an Aged Care Client Record (ACCR) which you will need to give to the residential aged care facility when applying.

You may contact ACAT directly: Visit www.myagedcare.gov.au for contact details for your local ACAT, or the Aged Care Information Line on 1800 200 422.

What should I consider when choosing a residential aged care facility?

The following things should be considered:

  • The type of accommodation, quality of care and the services provided
  • Recommendation of friends or family
  • The type of environment – do I want something cosy or open and airy?
  • Additional extras – do I require Extra Services such as hotel type services or lifestyle extras, with increased meal choices, extra outings and a more luxurious living environment?
  • Access to and from the facility
  • Proximity to your community, family and friends
  • Ageing in place – do you want to be able to continue to receive care in a familiar environment?

What if I only need care for a short time?

You can apply to as many residential aged care facilities as you wish. When a place becomes available, the aged care facility will contact you (or the contact person that you have nominated). If you wish to accept the place, you should then meet with the Client Relations Manager to discuss your Resident Agreement.

Next in our Guide to Aged Care:

What Care Do You Provide?

If you have any other questions relating to the care and services provided, please speak to our Client Relations Manager.