A Guide to Aged Care

A Guide to Aged Care

There is so much jargon used in the aged care industry that it’s not uncommon to have a swirl of seemingly meaningless words floating around your head after trying to read up about what’s on offer.

Today we pull the pin on jargon and offer some simple explanations about what aged care services are available to you.

Where do you want to receive care?
Even before you start to look at the services on offer, you need to decide whether you want to get services in your home (known as ‘community care’ or ‘care at home’) or move into an aged care facility (known as ‘residential aged care’ that offers 24/7 care. If you want to stay at home but need to go and live in a facility for a few days or weeks, you can use ‘residential respite services’ at most aged care facilities. Let’s look at these in more detail:

  1. Care at home (community care, community nursing)
    Most aged care providers have different names for this service, but all do the same thing – visit you in your home to provide you with an aged care service. There are many types of different services offered under community care. You can choose one or many of them. If you have a number of services, you can be assessed for a Home Care Package which bundles your services together. Services include:
    • Personal care assistance (dressing, showering etc.)
    • Meal preparation
    • Domestic assistance (cleaning)
    • Transport (usually to appointments with doctors etc)
    • Social support (visits if you’re feeling lonely)
    • Nursing at home
    • Respite at home (we look after you while your carer has a break)
    • Allied health at home (physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and other specialists)
    • Dementia services (advice about dementia and strategies to manage symptoms)
  2. Residential aged care (aged care facilities)
    If you are unable to care for yourself at home, you can move into a residential aged care facility where you’ll have access to nurses and carers 24/7. Most people are surprised to learn that aged care facilities are very active places, with social events, outing, and games on the activity calendar every day. You can tour a facility that you’re interested in and talk to the facility manager and staff about what it’s like to live there. If you’re thinking about this option take a look at our ‘aged care facilities - what to expect’ page.
  3. Residential respite care
    If you’re not sure you want to move into an aged care facility, or you have just come out of hospital, you might like to use residential respite care where you can move into an aged care facility temporarily. You’ll stay into a wing with permanent residents and get to take part in all the activities and experience what life is like living there.

Once you have decided what type of care you need, you will need to register and be assessed by My Aged Care, an organisation of the Australian Government. To start this process call 1800 200 422.

Find out more about Ozcare's aged care facilities and care at home services.

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