Step by step guide to aged care

Step 1. Check if 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, so you can assess firsthand the quality of accommodation available and the variety of facilities and amenities provided.

A personal tour also lets you meet with some of the care providers, and discuss the aspects that matter to you most. It might be leisure and lifestyle options, or menus and the quality of their food. Whatever your individual interests, this is the time to ask. You’ll soon get a sense for 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. There are also plenty of resources online, including:

These resources are particularly handy, because you can 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 for a home near you.

Once you have a shortlist, you can start calling each home and booking in for a tour.

Step 3. Familiarise yourself with 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 in plain English.

Step 4. Apply to your chosen home

Every aged care provider has their own application process. If applying to Japara, it’s the Care 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 offer you a choice of two options:

  • contact you as soon as suitable accommodation becomes available, or
  • try to accommodate you at a nearby Japara location, until your preferred type of room, in your preferred care home becomes available.

Step 5. Move in

The experience of moving into a residential care home can be somewhat overwhelming. You’re faced with a new environment, a new routine and everywhere you look, new people. At Japara, we understand this, and take steps to ensure you quickly feel right at home.

We begin by developing an individual care plan for you that covers your care needs, hobbies and interests, special dietary needs and so on. We’ll also help you decorate your room just how you like it, and once you have, your family and friends can drop by anytime, because there are no set visiting hours.

You won’t need to stress about chores anymore, either. Once you move in, we take care of cleaning, washing and meals; manage your care and medication; and organise your outings and activities.

All of which leaves you with more time for leisure, and enjoying the warm welcome that every new member of our Japara family receives.