This is a short list of our most frequently asked questions. For more information about aged care in Adelaide, and how Senexus can help you, please contact us.
Who can apply for a place in residential aged care?
Only someone who has been assessed as being eligible by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) is able to apply for either respite or permanent residential aged care. An ACAT assessment can be performed in hospital if required, or otherwise in the home. In South Australia, you can book an ACAT assessment by first calling My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. ACAT assessments are free. Find out more on our handy information guide: eligibility for residential aged care (PDF).
Can I apply for residential aged care on behalf of my mother or father?
Undertaking financial or legal affairs for another person requires an Enduring Power of Attorney. If a Power of Attorney is in place then you can submit an application for residential aged care on behalf of a parent or spouse. The Power of Attorney will also be required to act on that person’s behalf when dealing with Centrelink or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
An Enduring Power of Attorney will not allow you to make medical decisions on behalf of another person. For this, an Advance Care Directive is required in South Australia.
Senexus is able to simply and quickly arrange for an Enduring Power of Attorney and/or Advance Care Directive to be drafted.
How is the cost of residential aged care determined?
The cost of permanent residential aged care is determined by either Centrelink or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. These agencies will provide you with a Notice of Assessment based upon detailed information you must provide in a Combined Income and Assets Assessment form.
A set of complex formulas are used to determine whether you must pay any, or a combination, of the following. Fees are based on income and assets, and the different types of fees include:
- Basic Daily Fee
- Means Tested Fee
- Accommodation Contribution
- Refundable Accommodation Deposit
Our handy information sheet provides more information on the range of fees that you may be asked to pay.
Determining what the costs will be, and completing all of the required paperwork can be both confusing and time consuming. Senexus can help by promptly completing and submitting the Combined Income and Assets Assessment form for you. Senexus can also provide you with an accurate estimate of your aged care costs, weeks before your official notice from Centrelink or the DVA arrives.
What information will I need to complete the application?
In order to perform your Combined Income and Assets assessment, Centrelink or the DVA will require evidence of your financial position. Items such as bank statements, shareholdings, managed fund statements, and notice of overseas pensions may all be required to be submitted.
Senexus will provide you with an easy-to-use checklist of items that you can reference to ensure that the application can proceed thoroughly and as quickly as possible.
Will I have to sell the family home to go into a nursing home?
You do not necessarily need to sell the family home to move into aged care. Given the complex rules around what can and can’t be assessed as income and assets, some people may find that they are financially better off if they sell their house. Other people will be financially better off if they hold onto it. The answer depends on your own specific circumstances and, of course, your preferences and desires.
It is easy to feel pressured into making the quick and simple decision to sell the family home in order to pay for residential aged care. Senexus will make sure you possess all the right information and understand all the options so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.
How can I tell if an aged care home will provide good quality care for my loved one?
All aged care homes in Adelaide and across South Australia must be accredited every three years with the Australian Government. This provides a level of confidence that an aged care home meets the basic required standards across a range of criteria ranging from governance and systems to health care and nutrition. However, determining how well a particular aged care home provides its services beyond the basic requirements can be a difficult exercise.
How a place looks is not always a great indicator of the level of care provided. The old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” often applies to nursing homes. Having a tour of an aged care home, asking questions, and getting a feel for the mood of the staff and residents is the most a reasonable person can do to make an informed decision.
To assist our clients in making the right choice, Senexus provides all of our clients with our in-house checklist of items to lookout for, and questions to ask, when visiting a prospective aged care home. Our knowledge of aged care homes in Adelaide, combined with feedback from previous clients, will provide you with the confidence that your loved one will receive high quality care appropriate to their needs.
How does a waiting list work?
Many people believe that waiting lists are a function of time. That is, an offer of a place at a nursing home will be made once you advance to the top of the waiting list. This is not the case. Offers of residential care are made on the basis of who best suits the needs of the aged care home (this can be a combination of financial and health care factors). Therefore, some people may be on a waiting list barely five minutes (if at all) while others may be on a waiting list for years and never receive an offer.
At Senexus, we don’t believe in waiting lists. We will always provide you with residential care options with genuine offers for a vacant room that you can move into straight away.
How much time will I spend on finding and applying for a place in residential aged care?
Once again it depends on your specific circumstances. However, in order to find the information you need to get started, contact a range of aged care homes, arrange tours, complete the Combined Income and Assessment form and other application forms, it is not uncommon for people to take two or three weeks (sometimes more!) of annual leave in order to work through the process.
Senexus will undertake the whole process for you and give you back that time to care for your loved one, while also giving you the confidence of knowing you are making the most informed decision possible.