“Life is a Journey. On Your Journey, we care.”

There may come a day when you need to think about aged care placement, for yourself or a family member. This subject can produce challenging emotional responses like fear, grief, denial, frustration and guilt. It’s quite normal for people to feel some – or all – of them!

At Mater Christi we appreciate that emotional responses are an inevitable part of the process of adapting to a new lifestyle, one that is often forced upon a family with little warning.

So here is some information to support you in making empowered choices on the kind of accommodation which fits your individual needs, medically, emotionally, spiritually and economically. You can also access the information on the government website www.myagedcare.gov.au  by reading, downloading and or printing off the  Five Steps To Entry Into Aged Care  booklet. And if we can support you further, please contact us on 0266586133  because at SCCA ‘we care’ is more than our logo, it’s a lifestyle.

All homes have to meet government accreditation standards and to show continuous improvement in the quality of care and services they provide to residents.

The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency assesses homes and monitors them to make sure they comply with the Aged Care Standards.

But there are many different methods in the way care is delivered. Finding just the right option for you and your family means quality of life and peace of mind for the rest of the journey.

This information is from the Australian Government’s My Aged Care Website Five Steps To To Entry into Residential Aged Care

  1. Assess
  2. Find
  3. Costs
  4. Apply
  5. Move

 

1. Assess: Finding out if you are eligible for aged care

To find out if you are eligible for Australian Government Support for residential aged care, you will need to be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).*

Aged Care Assessment Teams are teams of health professionals such as doctors, nurses or social workers who provide information, advice and assistance to older people who are having difficulty living at home. To find an ACAT you can contact one directly via the My Aged Care website at www.myagedcare.gov.au

Alternatively, your doctor or health centre can provide a referral to the ACAT nearest to you.

* (Aged Care Assessment Teams are known as Aged Care Assessment Services (ACAS) in Victoria

What is an ACAT assessment?

A member of ACAT will visit you to understand more about your lifestyle and your needs. With your permission, your doctor may tell the ACAT member about your medical history. At this visit you may like a member of your family or your carer present. Once your assessment has been completed by ACAT and you are considered eligible for aged care services, they will either give you a
copy of the assessment or it will be posted to you.

It is important that you hold onto this document as it is the approval for your move to residential aged care. You should note that your ACAT assessment is free and will always remain valid unless granted for a specific period of time.

Types of care

The following are the types of aged care services you may be eligible for:

Permanent Care

This can range from assistance with personal care or day-to-day tasks through to requiring 24 hour nursing care.

Dementia care

Mater Christi has a dedicated 30 bed unit for those with more advanced needs. It involves a high level of care with round the clock nursing.

Respite care

Respite care is short term care when you need it and may be provided in your own home, in a respite care centre or as residential care in Mater Christi.

 

2. Find: Looking for Residential Aged Care.

Once you’ve met with an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) and received a letter to say that you are approved as eligible for residential aged care, you can start looking for your future home.

The best way to find a place that suits you is to visit a few different homes. Use our finder to look for homes in the area you’d like to live and contact them to arrange a time to visit.

Each home is different, so visiting them will help you to find out what you can expect. You’ll also be able to see what the accommodation is like, and what types of care, services and activities they offer.

Which aged care home is right for me?

Before you visit any aged care homes, it’s a good idea to make a list of the types of care you need and the things that are important to you in a home. You may want to take your letter from the ACAT as some homes will want to know that you have been approved and what care you require. Talk to your carer or family members to make sure you’ve thought of everything, and ask them about their needs too, so that they can still support you in your new home.

As you visit each home, you may also want to make some notes about what you like, what you don’t like and whether you feel comfortable there. Your impressions of the staff and the environment will help you to make a decision about which home is right for you.

You may also want to think about your physical, spiritual, social and emotional care needs, to make sure an aged care home is right for you. Common questions to consider may include:

  • Do you need help with everyday tasks such as dressing, using the toilet, bathing or moving around your home?
  • What training does the care staff have (are there registered nurses, enrolled nurses or trained carers)? How many staff provide care overnight?
  • What arrangements are there to ensure privacy for residents?
  • What are the meal arrangements – seating, times, menus, visitors, meals in your room and special diets?
  • Can the home meet your special needs (including language and culture, religious observances, pets and access to medical visits)?
  • How are social and cultural activities decided? Are residents’ interests taken into account?
  • How can family and friends be involved in care? Can they stay overnight if needed?
  • What transport can you access for visiting shops, friends and family?
  • Can the home meet your medical needs such as assistance with medication, wound or catheter care?
  • Do you need services such as podiatry (foot care), physiotherapy (exercise, mobility, strength and balance), the services of a dietitian (nutrition assessment, food and nutrition assessment, food and nutrition advice, dietary changes) or speech therapy (communicating, swallowing or eating)?
  • What type of care services cannot be provided? How would you be advised of this?

 

Step 3:  Costs; What do you need to pay?

The Australian Government pays for the bulk of aged care in Australia. But, as with all aged care services, it is expected you will contribute to the cost of your care if you can afford to do so.

You will never be denied the care you need because you can’t afford it.

How much you could be asked to pay towards your accommodation costs will depend on your financial situation. You may be asked to pay only part of or no accommodation costs.

The Australian Government will conduct an assessment of your income and assets. They will then advise you and the aged care home if you can be asked to pay towards your accommodation costs, and if so how much.

If you are required to pay for your accommodation, you will now have greater choice in how you pay. You can use a:

  • lump-sum payment, called a ‘refundable accommodation deposit’
  • regular rental-type payment called a ‘daily accommodation payment’, or
  • a combination of both.

If you are required to pay an accommodation payment, you will have 28 days from the day you entered care to decide on your payment method. Aged care homes cannot refuse you a place based on how you want to pay for your accommodation.

Until you decide on your ongoing payment method, you will need to pay your accommodation costs by rental-type ‘daily accommodation payment’ until you decide on your ongoing payment method.

Refundable accommodation deposit (RAD)

If you choose to make your payment as a lump sum, this is called a ‘refundable accommodation deposit’. A refundable accommodation deposit works like an interest-free loan to an aged care home. The balance of the deposit is refunded when you leave the aged care home less any amounts you have agreed to have deducted.

Daily accommodation payment (DAP)

Instead of paying for your accommodation as a lump sum you can choose to pay as periodic payments. The amount you pay is based on a daily rate which is why this type of payment is called a daily accommodation payment. However, you will pay in instalments up to a month in advance, as agreed with your service provider. Daily accommodation payments, unless you have paid in advance, are not refundable if you leave the aged care home.

Using a combination

You can choose to pay for your accommodation as a part lump-sum refundable accommodation deposit and part rental-type payment known as ‘daily accommodation payments’.

Residential Respite Care

If you receive residential respite care through an aged care home, you won’t have to pay an accommodation payment. You also won’t have to pay any means-tested care fees. You will, however, be asked to pay a basic daily fee and perhaps a booking fee. The booking fee is a prepayment of residential respite care fees and not an extra payment. The booking fee cannot be more than either a full week’s basic daily fee, or 25% of the fee for the entire stay, depending on which amount is the lowest. Residential respite care may be available for up to 63 days each financial year. This time can be extended in lots of 21 days if the ACAT assessment finds that this extra time is necessary.

Financial information and education

If you want to find basic information about managing your finances, you can use Centrelink’s free Financial Information Service. This confidential service can help you make informed decisions about investment and financial issues for your current and future needs. For more information about the Financial Information Service, contact Centrelink on 132 300.

For more information about general finance or to access the My Aged Care Fee Estimator go to  www.myagedcare.gov.au

 

Step 4 Apply : How do you apply for Residential Aged Care?

You can apply to as many homes as you like. When a place becomes available, the aged care home will contact you or your nominated contact person.

After accepting a place, make sure you let the other aged care homes know that you have found somewhere you like, to ensure that they no longer need to keep your application open.

Filling in an application form

You will need to apply to any aged care homes you are interested in. Some homes will have their own application process and may ask you to fill in their forms.

Talk to the homes and find out what process they have and what information they will need.

Do I need to provide personal information?

Yes. This way, your future aged care home can understand your specific care needs if a place becomes available.

Do I need to provide financial information to the provider?

No, you don’t need to provide any financial information on your application form. However, you will need to provide financial information to Centrelink when you are entering care if you
wish to apply to have your fees and charges subsidised by the Australian Government.

If you are entering an aged care home on or after 1 July 2014 you will need to complete the Residential aged care combined assets and income assessment form and submit it to Centrelink for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) if you receive an income support payment through them for assessment. You will need to complete and submit this form even if you are also receiving an income support payment. This is because the information required for aged care is different to the information required for income support payment purposes. If you don’t have your income and assets assessed you may be charged the maximum rate of fees and charges.

The Residential aged care combined assets and income assessment form is available from Centrelink or My Aged Care website.

You will be able to request an assessment prior to entering aged care and will receive an initial fee notification advice which will be valid for 120 days prior to entry unless there is a significant
change in your circumstances. You will need to update Centrelink (or the DVA) during the 120 day period of any changes in your circumstances such as marital status, homeownership or financial changes. Centrelink will determine if the fees should be reset prior to entering care and will advise you.

Will my information be kept private?

All aged care homes are required to keep your information private under state, territory and Commonwealth legislation. You can expect the information you provide in the forms will be treated sensitively by the aged care home. If you want to access your personal information, you can contact your aged care home at any time. By law, aged care homes are required to manage your information according to certain standards.

Under both the Aged Care Act 1997 and the Privacy Act 1988, you are entitled to access the information that the aged care home collects from you. There are severe penalties, including imprisonment, for people who misuse personal information. For more information on how to apply for an aged care home, go to My Aged Care at www.myagedcare.gov.au or call 1800 200 422.

 

Step 5: Move

Moving house is always a challenging situation. At SCCA, our motto is “We Care” and these are not just words. So we want to make this transition as stress free as possible for you. These are the steps which lead to our brand new residents becoming members of the Mater Christi Family.

Meeting with our team

You will meet with our Admissions and Finance teams who will guide you through the paperwork including our Resident Agreement.

Completing Resident Agreement

You should take the time you need to read and understand the Resident Agreement which is a legal contract with SCCA  outlining you’re the terms of your residency, your rights and obligations as well as the rights and obligations of SCCA plus information on your costs.

If there is anything you don’t understand we are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Move in

Your room at Mater Christi will come with a bed a built in wardrobe and a bedside locker. We encourage you to bring your own things such as bedspread/doona cover and pillowcases, your own chair and bookcase or cabinet and any pictures or photos you would like to have on the walls to make your room feel home like. Please discuss what items you’d like to bring with the Facility Manager or Admissions Coordinator.

Your clothing should all be labelled for laundry purposes.