Step by step guide to aged care

Placing an elderly loved one into aged care is one of the most emotionally challenging decisions most families will have to face. That’s why we’re always here to help – either in person at your local Japara home or over the phone. Download our guide to aged care (480KB PDF).

Step 1.
Check you’re eligible for government funding

The Federal Government provides aged care funding for all eligible Australians. If you’re thinking about moving into a residential care home, you should check your eligibility as soon as possible by arranging for a free aged care assessment.

This assessment is performed by a group of medical professionals, who will visit you at home, and talk with you about your current lifestyle and care needs. In Victoria, the group is known as an Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS). Everywhere else it’s called an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).

If you’re found to be eligible for government funded care—be it in your own home, or an aged care home—you can start using those care services right away, or at some future date. The decision is yours.

Step 2.
Find the right home

The best way to find the right home is to visit as many as you can. That way you can assess firsthand the quality of accommodation available, and the variety of spaces and amenities provided.

A personal tour also lets you meet with some of the care providers, and discuss what matters most to you. That may be leisure and lifestyle options, or menus and the quality of the food. Whatever your individual interests, this is the time to ask. You’ll soon get a sense of the culture of the home, and the values of those who work there.

Friends and family can be another great source of information, especially if their opinions are the result of personal experience.You’ll also find plenty of resources online, including:

These resources allow you to search for homes using a variety of criteria, such as location, amenities and cost. Details of Japara Care Homes are available on each of these sites, or you can search our site for a home near you.

Once you have a shortlist, you can start contact each home and book a tour.

Step 3.
Understand the cost

The cost of residential aged care is the sum of up to four types of fees:

  • The basic daily fee
  • The means-tested care fee
  • Accommodation fees
  • Fees for other services

The way some of these fees are calculated may appear complex, especially if this is your first experience with aged care.

The fees and charges guide explains everything including how to find out if government funding is available.

Step 4.
Apply for a care home

Every aged care provider has their own application process. If applying to Japara, it’s the Home Manager you should contact. They’ll be happy to help you with your application form and other relevant paperwork.

If there’s a room available that meets your needs, you should be able to move in quite soon. If not, we can contact you as soon as suitable accommodation becomes available. Or, we can try to accommodate you at a nearby Japara location, until your preferred care home becomes available.

Step 5.
Move in

The experience of moving into a residential care home can be overwhelming. It means living in a new environment, with a new routine and new people. At Japara, we understand the challenge this can present, which is why we take steps to ensure everyone feels right at home from the very beginning.

We start by getting to know our new residents and their care needs, hobbies, interests, special dietary needs and anything else unique to each person. We also help each new resident decorate their room just how they like it, and we encourage family and friends to drop by at any time, because there are no set visiting hours.

Our residents are supported to do what they want. They don’t need to worry about chores anymore, if they’d prefer or need to offload those tasks. We can take care of everything – from cleaning, cooking, washing and meals to managing care and medication, or organising outings and lifestyle options. Of course, it all depends on the resident, and how much they want or need us to support them with their daily requirements.

All of this is designed to leave our residents with more time to follow their passions. It’s part of the warm welcome that every new member of our Japara family receives.