Making the decision to put a loved one into an aged care home is perhaps one of the hardest you’ll ever make; a decision punctuated with uncertainty, confusion and guilt. But ask yourself this: Am I able to provide the high quality care my elderly family member needs? If the answer is no, then let go of the guilt. You’re making the right decision.
Getting started in Aged Care can seem daunting at first. The right information and talking to the right people can dispel the confusion. The more you know, the easier the process.
Here’s what to consider when taking your first steps in Aged Care:
Step 1: Getting Assessed (ACAT)
The first thing step is a comprehensive assessment. This is carried out by your local GP or Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) and is free of charge. The assessment outlines the level of care your loved one requires, details the services they are eligible for, and determines if they are eligible for subsidised aged age services.
To register for an ACAT assessment, call 1800 200 422 or visit the MyAgedCare website.
Step 2: Finding the Right Home
When looking for the right home for your loved one, there are many things to consider. First and foremost is the quality and level of care the home provides. Then look at other important aspects such as proximity to family members, access to cultural activities, meal preferences, etc.
Step 3: Understanding Aged Care Costs
Once you’ve found the perfect home, you have to think about the costs. Most aged care facilities divide their fee structure into three components
Daily Service Fees: These cover your service (e.g: care staff, specialist inclusions) and hospitality needs (e.g: meals, cleaning, room maintenance and refurbishment).
Accommodation Fees: These could be paid either as a lump sum Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) or a pay-as-you-go Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP).
Care Fee: This covers your cost of living such as meals and cleaning services
The fees you will pay depend on various factors such as personal financial situation, the level of service required and the information you provide to the relevant Australian Government departments. You may want to seek the help of an independent financial advisor to guide you through this (or contact us if you are unsure).
Step 4: Applying for your Aged Care Home
Your Aged Care Provider will require you to fill an application form and provide additional documentation related to your loved one’s care. This is followed by a care needs and lifestyle assessment to help the provider determine the care required and requests.
Step 5 – Moving into your New Home
This is an exciting as well as a bittersweet time. Most aged care facilities are happy to let you decorate your loved one’s room to make it feel as close to home as possible. Participate, where possible, in any orientation programmes and read the moving in guides provided to make this a seamless and easy transition.
At KOPWA , we’ve built our expertise providing high quality aged care services including residential aged care, residential respite care and community home care on Sydney’s North Shore. We’ve been a home to your elderly loved ones for over 60 years.
We understand this is an overwhelming time for you, and we have experts who can guide you through the process. Reach out to us on (02) 9412 0284 and we will be happy to take away uncertainty and confusion.