Hunter Valley Care

Enhancing Lives With Care

About Aged Care

  • 1. What is Residential Aged Care?

    Residential Aged Care provides homely accommodation and living support for those who can no longer manage on their own and need assistance on a daily basis.
  • 2. When should I move into a Residential Aged Care facility?

    The decision of when to move into Residential Aged Care can be a complex one. You may wish to discuss your situation with your loved ones or a medical professional who knows you well. There are many options available to you, so having the support of people who care and can assist you in understanding your options will make the process easier.
  • 3. What is Respite Care?

    Respite Care is offered at Residential Aged Care facilities to provide family and carers the opportunity to take a break from their care responsibilities. They can rest assured that their loved one is being well cared for by experienced staff in a safe and nurturing environment.

    The maximum number of respite days available to anyone in a Residential Aged Care facility is up to 63 days (9 weeks) per year.

  • 4. How do I determine what types of care I am eligible for?

    In order to determine a person’s eligibility to reside in a Residential Aged Care facility, either permanently or for brief periods for respite, an assessment is required by a member of the government’s Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). The assessment helps elderly people and their loved ones work out what type of care will best meet their needs.

    An ACAT assessment can be arranged through your doctor or local hospital. For details of your local ACAT team call Aged Care Australia on 1800 200 422 or go to their website www.myagedcare.gov.au.

     

  • 5. What is involved in an ACAT Assessment?

    A member of ACAT will meet with the person seeking care to determine whether their physical, mental and social situation warrants them eligiblity to live in a Residential Aged Care facility. Loved ones and carers are encouraged to be involved in the assessment. ACATs provide information on suitable care options and can help you decide which services you need. The ACAT member can also help arrange access or referral to appropriate Residential Aged Care services for short-term respite or permanent residence.

    It is best to talk to your family doctor or social worker first to see if you need to be referred to an ACAT for assessment. Once you have an appointment, a member of your local ACAT team will visit you in your home or in hospital to make an assessment of your needs. You may have someone who knows you well with you during the assessment, such as a loved one or carer.

    The ACAT member will discuss the result of their assessment with you, arranging referrals to a place in residential care, if this is appropriate. ACAT assessments are provided by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aging free of charge.

    An ACAT assessment can be arranged through your doctor or local hospital. For details of your local ACAT team call Aged Care Australia on 1800 200 422 or go to their website www.myagedcare.gov.au.

  • 6. What is the process for admission into Residential Aged Care?

    The process for moving into a Residential Aged Care facility is:

    • Consult with your doctor, social worker or other medical professional;
    • Complete an ACAT assessment;
    • Find a Residential Aged Care facility, or a selection of facilities, that suit your care needs and lifestyle requirements and book an appointment with them for a tour;
    • Complete the Department of Health and Aging’s 5 Steps to Entry into Residential Aged Care Guide pack, which can be provided to you by your doctor, social worker, hospital or Residential Aged Care facility staff, or accessed online through the Department of Health and Aging website www.health.gov.au;
    • Arrange admittance into your preferred Residential Aged Care facility.
  • 7. What should I consider when choosing a Residential Aged Care facility?

    You may wish to consider the following:

    • Type of care needed – Low care, high care or respite care?
    • Special needs – These include language, cultural or religious considerations, diet, access to your doctor etc. How can the facility accommodate these needs?
    • Location – Is the facility in proximity of family, friends and community groups? Is the area familiar? Accessibility of essential services such as medical facilities, as well as leisure and entertainment services, is worth considering.
    • Setting – Is the environment pleasant and homely?
    • Safety and security – What is the availability of care staff and what measures are in place to ensure residents’ security?
    • Consultation – How are residents and their loved ones consulted on matters regarding care, events, issues and changes required?
    • Privacy – How is the privacy and dignity of residents upheld?
    • Ageing in place – Are residents able to transition from low care to high care within their familiar environment?
    • Costs – Do you fully understand the fees and charges applicable to the facility you are considering?
    • Preferred type of accommodation – Single or shared room?
    • Additional lifestyle services – Are additional activities, private rooms and additional meal choices available? These are called Extra Services.
    • Recommendations from medical professionals, family and friends.
  • 8. How do I apply to a Residential Aged Care facility?

    See Questions 4, 5 and 6. Before applying to a Residential Aged Care facility, you will need to have an ACAT assessment completed to determine to type of care that would best suit your needs and preferences. You will also need to complete the forms provided in the government-issued 5 Steps to Entry into Residential Aged Care Guide. Once your ACAT assessment and 5 Steps to Entry pack are completed, you should book an appointment with a facility’s Admissions Officer to discuss the applicable Resident Agreement.
  • 9. Can I apply to more than one Residential Aged Care facility?

    Securing a place in a Residential Aged Care facility can take time if there is a waiting list. You are free to apply to as many Residential Aged Care facilities as you like. When a place becomes available, you will be contacted by the facility and staff. If you wish to accept the place, you should then meet with the facility’s Admissions Officer to discuss your admission.