A guide to entering aged care

Kim Riley, General Manager, Quirindi Care Services

While Inside Ageing is a B2B news and information source for the aged care services sector, the online nature of our content often invites requests for information from consumers, including carers who form an increasing proportion of our readership. This guest post by Kim Riley of Quirindi Care Services – an aged care provider in regional NSW – is designed to help answer some of those questions.

Transitioning into residential aged care marks a significant life change, stirring a mix of emotions for individuals and their loved ones.

From sadness and fear to relief and guilt, this journey often unfolds amidst crises, presenting challenges and uncertainties. Many wonder why the process seems prolonged and complicated, often becoming a frustrating endeavour for all involved.

People often ask us why the process takes so long, why it is so complicated and how to find all of this information. These are all valid questions, and many of the steps must usually be done before you can apply to a residential aged care facility, therefore planning is so helpful.

The initial step entails an assessment of eligibility by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). Once deemed eligible, individuals receive vital codes and an AC number, granting access to respite or permanent care.

Requesting an ACAT assessment is done by contacting My Aged Care via the website www.myagedcare.gov.au or by My Aged Care Contact Centre on 1800 200 422.

There can be a delay between requesting an assessment and the assessment taking place, however, there is provision for an emergency assessment.

Armed with the necessary codes, the next pivotal decision involves selecting a suitable facility. My Aged Care serves as a comprehensive resource for exploring aged care facilities nationwide, providing invaluable information to aid decision-making.

This platform equips individuals with insights into various facilities, streamlining the search process.

The next big step is contacting Centrelink to undertake a financial assessment for the purposes of entering a residential aged care facility. Centrelink can assist you with this process. The financial assessment can take some time, so start the process early and allow time if you are able.
Each facility will have its own application process.

Here at Eloura, we have an application form available from the administration or available to download from our website. The form is detailed and all sections need to be completed and all requested documents supplied prior to entry. We also have an entry pack which includes lots of forms to review and complete.

One of the questions that we ask is to confirm you have a general practitioner who will continue to provide care (GP visits) after you enter residential aged care. You need to confirm this with your GP by asking him or her ‘Will you still be my GP if I go into x or y residential aged care facility?’ Unless you can confirm a GP, your application will hit a big roadblock.

For comprehensive guidance, the Department of Health and Aged Care provides a booklet that explains all the steps, these are available from our administration office, or we can mail them out. This booklet is an invaluable resource detailing key procedures, aiding individuals in navigating the complexities of aged care entry.


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