Residential aged care facilities are designed for older people who are no longer capable of living at home. However, a person can’t just decide to enter a government subsidised facility, they must be assessed as needing the level of care offered. There are two broad types of care offered:
Low level care provides accommodation and personal care, such as help with dressing and showering, together with occasional nursing care.
High level care provides accommodation and care for people with a greater degree of frailty, and who need continuous nursing care.
Assessments are conducted by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or the Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) in Victoria. ACAT and ACAS team members are health professionals who assess whether a person is in need of care as well as the level of care needed. This assessment is funded by the Australian Government and free of charge to the applicant.
Once approved by ACAT or ACAS, the process of looking for an appropriate aged care home can begin. Apart from the payments required by the home, additional considerations include:
Accreditation and certification of the aged care home
Financial stability of the provider
The standard of accommodation
Location and local services
Amenities, qualified staff and staffing level
Type of care and services provided
Residency rules and rights
The length of the waiting period
People looking to move into an aged care home should visit potential homes well in advance to assess their quality and suitability to their specific needs and preferences. The aged care home finder service can assist with this process. The finder has a filter, which lists facilities based on factors such as location and desired services.
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