Nursing Homes – Victoria/Melbourne

By on the Thursday, February 24, 2011

Finding residential aged care accommodation in Victoria is easy with our aged care online directory, you can also find aged care facilities and nursing homes in Melbourne using our directory.

What is a nursing home/high level care home?

When a family member is unable to care for themselves independently, they may have to make a move to a low level or high care home. These homes have formerly been known as hostels (low level care) or nursing homes (high level care) but are currently referred to as low level/high level care home in the industry. Often the decision to move into a nursing home is made once family members are unable to provide for an elderly person. Whether it is due to physical, emotional or financial reasons, additional help is needed. However family members need to know that finding a suitable home can be a 2-3 month process.



Where do I start?

When searching for a nursing home in Victoria, the first question that will be asked is if your loved one has ‘been assessed’. ‘Assessed? What does that mean?’ you may ask. If the nursing home is funded by the Government, then anyone looking to move into the home will need an Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS/ACAT) to determine what level of care is needed. However, there are also non-government funded residential aged care homes which generally do not require an ACAS assessment.

It is recommended that the first thing you do is talk to your doctor who can then refer you to an ACAT/ACAS assessment. You can also use the ACAT/ACAS Service Provider from the Federal Government Department of Health and Ageing.

Finding a Home

Finding a nursing home is similar to finding a home to rent or buy. Just as you would not buy the first house you see, or expect to find something suitable within a few weeks, the same applies to finding residential aged care in Victoria. It is important to decide upon the areas you feel would be suitable and then try to visit as many homes as possible within those areas. The home as well as the neighbourhood and other near-by amenities (i.e. shopping strips, public transport, post office et cetera) as well as the culture of the home will need to be considered before moving in.

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What type of care is provided?

The type of services provided at residential aged care will vary depending on the type of care (low or high level) and if the home is an extra service home. If the resident is in low level care then generally accommodation and personal care is provided. Personal care refers to help with:

  • Dressing/Showering
  • Occasional nursing care

High level care homes provide services for those who need continuous nursing care.

There are some services which must be provided at no additional costs, regardless of whether the resident is a high or low level care patient.

  • Basic accommodation (i.e. beds, mattresses, linen, chairs et cetera)
  • Laundry and cleaning service
  • Building and grounds maintenance
  • On-call staff and emergency assistance
  • Personal care (i.e. help with bathing, going to the toilet, eating and dressing)
  • Mobility and communication assistance
  • Meals (must also cater for special diets)
  • Social activities

If the resident is a high level care resident, then the following services must be included (in addition to the basic services listed above)

  • Wheelchairs
  • Sheepskins
  • Water/air mattresses
  • Continence aids
  • Basic medication and dressings
  • Therapy services (e.g. speech therapy/physiotherapy)
  • Oxygen and oxygen equipment