Six steps to finding the right aged care home.

Identifying and obtaining a place at the right aged care home for a loved one can be a confusing, frustrating and time-consuming process. Let us guide you through the process with our six steps to finding the best residential aged care in Adelaide.

Step 1: Is there a Power of Attorney?

To apply for residential aged care on behalf of a loved one you will generally need to have Power of Attorney. If your loved one has not already appointed you as their Power of Attorney then this will need to be arranged as soon as possible.

Step 2: Apply for an ACAT assessment

Your loved one will need to have a valid Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessment in order for them to obtain a place in residential aged care. It can take as little as one week to as much as three-to-four months to obtain an ACAT assessment, so it is best to arrange for an assessment as early as possible.

Step 3: Work out the costs of aged care

Every family wants to know that there are enough funds available to adequately, if not comfortably, provide for their loved one’s care. Working out the costs of aged care can be difficult. For residential aged care the costs are determined by a full means test that includes both assets and income. But, making things more difficult, you also need to be aware of the exemptions that are available for different types of assets and income.

Also, just to add to the confusion, the Centrelink tests for the pension, home care and residential aged care are all different. So, even if you have met all of the documentation and requirements for the pension test, or have already received a home care package, you will still need to work through the assets and income test for residential aged care.

Step 4: Complete the Request for Income and Assets Assessment Form

The costs of aged care for most people will be determined by Centrelink. However, if your loved one receives an income support payment from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA) then it will be the DVA who conducts the assessment. To ensure that your application is processed in a timely way you will need to fully complete the form, which contains 145 questions. Keep in mind that for some assets you will also need to attach supporting evidence or documentation.

Step 5: Search for a suitable aged care home

There are hundreds of aged care homes across Adelaide, and it can be difficult to identify which home will offer the best care for your loved one. How do you really know which is a good aged care home and which isn’t? Location is often a key consideration, as most people like to stay near their home or be close to their children, but other considerations include the style and quality of the food, and access to particular services. Many people equate a new and contemporary home with quality care, but that may not necessarily be the case (and vice versa). Once you have your shortlist of preferred aged care homes we strongly recommend that you take the time to visit each home.

Step 6: Tackle post-move responsibilities

Families are often asked to make decisions about the family home and contents, once a loved one has moved into residential aged care. Sorting through household contents, and going through the process of selling or renting the home can take several months.

It is not unusual for families to spend between four and six months placing a loved one into care. It is often stressful and confusing, particularly when a family is already worried about the health and wellbeing of a loved one. There is a better way: Senexus Aged Care Solutions can manage any or all of the six steps to entering residential aged care, typically completing a full aged care placement within two weeks.

To learn more about the steps involved with placing a loved one into residential aged care please call us on (08) 8344 1991.

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