Aged care is the term given to the assistance and support of elderly people. Government funded aged care assistance and services are available, and are covered under the Aged Care Act 1997.
Assistance and services can be provided to elderly people who need assistance at home, or who can no longer manage at home and need to reside in a care facility.
Government-funded services for aged care include in-house care at the recipient’s home, residential care in a nursing (aged care) home, and short term stays in what is known as respite care.
Most elderly people start with a basic home care package that provides support with cleaning the house, personal care, shopping, preparation of meals, and transportation.
The first step for someone who may need aged care assistance is to organise an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) Assessment, which will assess the person’s needs and make recommendations for government-funded care and support.
In most cases, the assessment will take place in the home. You can have a family member, friend or carer attend the assessment for support and to help you with the questions.
Once the assessment report is received, it will indicate the level of assistance that is required. Should a person be assessed as requiring low care, they will need to contact My Aged Care to apply for Home Care assistance.
Once the ACAT assessment is made a person will also need to consider the Cost of Aged Care. This is where professional financial advice and planning is crucial.
For someone seeking home care the cost includes a basic daily fee; and an income tested care fee which will depend on the person’s assets and income.
For someone seeking aged care, how much they will have to pay depends on the place they choose and the assessment of their assets and income. Typically, there are three types of costs associated with all aged care homes:
A basic daily fee that every aged care resident pays for the services they receive;
An accommodation cost for the room, which will vary depending on the aged care home chosen; and
Means-tested care, which is a varying cost for the care services the person receives, and is based on your income and assets.
For the accommodation cost for the room in an aged care home, a choice is available between a Refundable Accommodation Deposit, or a non-refundable daily fee.
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