Aged Care Government Assessments

An overview for the application of government subsidies for Aged Care Services

One of the world’s sought-after fortunes is support for an ageing population.  Fortunately, in the lucky country that is Australia, the government subsidises many different types of aged care services, from at home assistance to aged care or nursing home placement. For each aged care package and programme, applicants are required to undergo an assessment of eligibility to ensure everyone receives the care and support they need, and that candidates are provided the opportunity to stay as independent as they can.

At this first stage of assessment, a staff member from the government’s My Aged Care contact centre will register the applicant. They will also ask about any support the applicant is currently receiving, health concerns, current management of activities, and some questions relating to the applicant’s safety in the home. During this initial discussion, they will introduce the assessment options or refer the applicant directly to services where appropriate.

One of the assessment options they will mention is the home support assessment. This will be recommended if the applicant has only entry level aged care needs and can remain living at home and in the community safely. A local assessor will visit the applicant at their current residence organised via appointment. A current partner, family member or carer will be allowed to be present to assist and provide further information about their current care as well as concerns or other requirements. Consequently, the assessor will collaborate with the applicant to identify capabilities and weaknesses, and develop a support plan to achieve the goals the applicant sets. If required, the assessor will help the applicant identify service providers to support the proposed plan. However, if the assessor finds that greater support is needed, the assessor will organise the applicant to undergo a comprehensive assessment.

The comprehensive assessment involves an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT, or ACAS in Victoria) assessment, and is for applicants with more complex aged care needs such as Home Care Packages, transition care, respite care, or moving into an aged care or nursing home. In contrast to the home support assessment, the assessor is a member of the local ACAT, usually a nurse, social worker or other health care professional, who comes to your home or hospital depending on the applicant’s current living arrangements. With the applicant’s permission, they will ask which aged care services the applicant wishes to be approved for. They may also ask about current day-to-day living activities, specific health conditions, areas where the applicant needs extended support in, and provide information about services available in the local area. The ACAT member may wish to discuss the applicant’s medical history, with approved consent. After the assessment, the ACAT will write to the applicant to confirm the outcome of the assessment, which the applicant can apply for a review should he or she be unsatisfied by it.
The assessment can be a daunting process for applicants, as it involves an unfamiliar person to enter your personal living space. However, it is solely purposed for the government to effectively attend to each applicant’s needs. For more information about applying for Aged Care Homes and Facilities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth, you are welcome to consult our staff at Opal Aged Care, where we have facilities around Australia that suit a range of living arrangements and aged requirements.