What is a residential aged care?
When a family member is unable to care for themselves independently, they may have to make the move into a residential aged care home. These homes have formerly been known as hostels (low level care) or nursing homes (high level care) but are generally referred to as aged care homes. The decision to move into aged care is made once family members are unable to provide care and support for an elderly person. Whether it is due to physical, emotional or financial reasons, additional help is often needed. However, family members need to know that finding a suitable aged care home can be a 2-3 month process.
Where do I start?
When searching for an aged care home in Victoria, the first question that will be asked is if your loved one has ‘been assessed’. If the nursing home is funded by the Government, then anyone looking to move into aged care will need an Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAT – known as ACAS in Victoria) 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 ACAT assessment.
It is recommended that the first thing you do is talk to your doctor who can then refer you to an ACAT/ACAS. You can also use the ACAT/ACAS Service Provider.
Finding an Aged Care Home
Finding an aged care 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 in residential aged care will vary depending on the type of care and if the home is an Extra Services home. Generally in most aged care homes accommodation and personal care is provided. Personal care refers to help with:
Aged care homes also provide services for those who need continuous nursing care.
There are some services which must be provided to all residents at no additional costs including:
Extra Services (which attract extra fees) may include:
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