1800 243 322To be able to access any type of government-funded services, a person is required to have an aged care assessment to make sure he or she receives the type of support and care they need. This article will outline types of care needed and identify the available services and support a person is eligible for.
An ACAT assessment is required in order to avail any of the available government-funded services that include aged care home or nursing home, residential aged care, home care, and transition care. The assessment will be used to come up with any recommendation for the level and type of care that will best suit the person’s care needs. Although you may not need to undergo an aged care assessment if you are not planning to avail any of the said government-funded services, most aged care facilities are subsidized by the government so an ACAT assessment may still be required.
An aged care assessment will evaluate a number of factors including:
- health condition and medical history
- state of your physical condition like your capacity to perform everyday tasks and how well you can get around
- your current psychological condition to determine whether you experienced depression or mental illness before or in the present
- your capacity to socialize, including relationship with your family and friends as well as existing support networks
- any special needs or specific concerns, such as, religious beliefs and cultural views, sexual preferences or language issues
How Comprehensive Assessment Works
Comprehensive aged care assessments are facilitated by a local assessor or evaluator from the Aged Care Assessment Team or ACAT. A member of the organization will be in contact with you if you have been referred for an aged care assessment. They will arrange for a schedule for a home visit and talk you over about your present condition. This is the best way to let the assessor know any difficulties you have particularly in communication so they can arrange for any special assistance that will make you comfortable with your assessment.
The assessor is often a healthcare professional, a social worker or a nurse and they will be the one to facilitate the evaluation by asking a series of questions to confirm your and their safety upon their visit.
It is often suggested that you prepare for your assessment in order to ensure your chance for eligibility. While waiting for the assessment schedule, you need to make sure you have the following on hand before your evaluation takes places and these are:
- your Medicare number
- a referral copy from your physician
- any pertinent information you have that you may want to talk over with the assessor
- your GP or other health professional contact details
- details on current support you are receiving
As a precaution on your part, you can ask any of your family member, a friend or a caregiver to be present with you while the assessment is ongoing. Upon the arrival of the assessor, they will first ask you whether you agree with the scheduled assessment. They will have a copy of your client’s record with the information you have provided to the My Aged Care contact center.
The assessor may also ask for your permission so they can talk to other people currently supporting you like a family member or a designated caregiver. If you are being assessed for specific aged care services like home care, residential care and flexible care, the assessor may require you to fill up accomplish another aged care assessment form such as the Application for Care form.
Some of the questions that you may be asked about may include:
- what current support you already have and if you have plans to continue it
- questions about your lifestyle, health condition and other related health concerns
- if you have memory problems
- any concerns about home and personal safety
In addition, the assessor may also:
- evaluate your current condition to determine if you are eligible you for other types of services that best suit your needs
- provide you with information about other service providers within your area that offer the type of care you need
- consider whether you might need additional support so you can live in your own home or explore other available options such as an aged care facility.
In line with the assessment, the assessor will also discuss about the possible expenses related to the available services and provide you with resources where you can obtain additional information regarding this matter.
All aged care assessments have policies and procedures in place designed to work with any concerns of all applicants for eligibility. If you have concerns regarding your comprehensive assessment, you can talk with your assessor regarding this so they provide you with the necessary assistance.
The Final Result of Your Assessment
Once your assessment is complete, the assessor will come with a formal decision regarding your eligibility to receive care, your care needs, and the level of care that suits your needs. If your assessment says that you are eligible for government funded services, your approval for specific services be mentioned in the approval letter to be sent later on by the ACAT.
Should your assessment states that you are not eligible for and of the care services including residential care, home care package and other related services, ACAT will inform you through a letter the reasons why you are not qualified to avail of such services. There may still be services you can avail of and ACAT will inform you about who to contact regarding this matter.
Should you fail to receive any letter from ACAT informing you about your approval or non-approval, you may need to contact ACAT personally and ask for a copy explaining your assessment result.
If you do not agree at all with your assessment result or there are some issues you want to clarify in your assessment, you are encouraged to contact ACAT. If this is not resolve, you can also ask for a review of the decision to ensure due process is followed.
For any questions or expert advice you can contact Aged Care Financial Services at 1800 243 322.