This is never an easy decision to make. The first signs of needing assistance with daily living are when the normal day-to-day tasks have become too difficult to manage without help from others. The best thing to do is discuss it with someone who respects your situation and knows you well. Perhaps this could be a family member, or your local doctor. Another way of ascertaining your needs is to consult with the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). Regardless of your situation they will have to assess you anyway, if you wish to enter residential aged care. So it may be a good idea to speak to them about your needs.
Q. What is an assessment?
An assessment is merely an evaluation by a member of the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) who is a health care professional in the area of senior care. They will visit you and ask you some questions about your life and lifestyle to find the best possible care options for you. You may have anyone present with you for the assessment, such as a carer or family member. And if you wish, you may instruct your doctor to provide your medical history to the ACAT representative. These assessments are free.
Q. What if I only need care for a short time?
This is commonly known as respite care, which UPA provides in conjunction with permanent care accommodation. Respite is a period of temporary accommodation in an aged care home, which may be required for a number of reasons.
- Trying out a home before making a decision to move permanently.
- A carer or support person might be going away on a holiday or unavailable for a period of time.
- In emergency situations
The government provides funding to support respite for a number of weeks throughout the year (this also requires an ACAT assessment) unless you are choosing to pay privately. Respite needs to be booked well in advance in our facility homes, so it is best to contact the home of your choice as early as practicable to secure a place.
Q. What are the standards for staff working in Aged Care Facilities?
The staff working in a home should be fully trained to the highest standard. Aged Care Homes are subject to an accreditation process conducted by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency. The home must pass a series of compulsory checks to operate.
Q. What kind of personal care can I expect to receive?
Care should be assessed and provided based on the individual needs of each and every resident. This is something you should always discuss in detail with your intended place of residence and should include things apart from your clinical care needs. These could be the activities you like to do, any community ties you have and want to maintain, what you like to eat and who your family and friends are, just to name a few.
Q. Should I consider an Enduring Power of Attorney?
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that appoints someone else (the attorney) to act on your behalf regarding financial, medical or lifestyle matters and property if you do not have the capacity to manage or understand these matters. You can get advice about preparing a power of attorney from a solicitor, a community legal centre, a state trustee company or your local magistrate’s court.
Q. Where do I go to get more information on aged care?
The My Aged Care website (myagedcare.gov.au), allows consumers to review all homes in detail including the type of rooms available, pricing and care services offered. However it is important to note that you should always visit the homes and meet the staff to be able to make a complete assessment of whether the accommodation will suit you. At UPA we make a point of inviting you to attend a pre- entry appointment with our care team members to ensure we are able to meet your care and service expectations.
The cost of residential aged care consists of 3 components, a basic daily fee, means tested fee and an accommodation cost. For further information on aged care costs please click here Residential Aged Care Costs.
Q. Do I have to sell my home when I moved into aged care?
No, the full value of your former family home will not be included in the assessment of your assets if you keep it. Instead a capped amount of $171,535.20 (as at 20 September 2020) is included or the net market value of your house, if lower.
It will not be counted as an asset if there are eligible people still living in your home.
Q. Will I still receive the aged care pension after moving into care?
Generally, most people continue to receive the same amount of pension after moving into aged care. What you decide to do with your family home can have a big impact on your aged pension. The family home will not count in the pension asset test for two years after moving into aged care unless you sell it or start renting it out.
Q. Are there flexible payment options? Do I have to pay the full costs upfront?
The full cost is not required upfront. Care fees are paid fortnightly in advance. Accommodation costs can be paid on a fortnightly basis or as a lump sum. Any fees or payments can also be deducted from your lump sum payment if you choose.
Q. What if I can’t afford it?
The Government will review your financial situation and determine if you will be asked to contribute to the cost of your care. You will never be denied care because you can’t afford it. If you circumstances change you can request an updated income and asset assessment be completed.
Q. Can I seek financial advice?
Yes, you can, we recommend it. Some payment methods may affect your pension and aged care fees. It’s beneficial to seek independent financial advice before deciding how to pay for your aged care.
Services Australia’s Financial Information Service (FIS) is a free service available to everyone. FIS officers can show you how to make informed financial decisions. They can also help you to understand the financial implications of your aged care costs.
To find out more about FIS, or to make an appointment, call the Centrelink Older Australians line on 132 300.