Once you have received a letter to say that you are approved for entry into an aged care home, follow this pathway to access care in an aged care home and manage your services:
- Filling in an application form
- Personal and financial information
- Being offered a place
- Accepting an offer
As you find aged care homes that meet your needs, you can start applying for a place. You can apply to as many homes as you like. It is a good idea to apply to a number of homes as your preferred home may not have a place available when you are looking. When a place becomes available, the aged care home will contact you or your nominated contact person.
Filling in an application form
You will need to apply to any aged care homes you are interested in. All aged care homes have their own application process and may ask you to fill in a form.
Talk to the homes and find out what process they have and what information they will need. The homes will explain to you about any fees and accommodation payments that you may be asked to pay. These should be included in the Resident Agreement and Accommodation Agreement that you make with your aged care home.
Personal and financial information
You will need to provide personal information so the aged care home can understand your specific care needs if a place becomes available.
While you don't need to provide any financial information on your application form for the aged care home, they may ask for this information while you wait to receive the outcome of your income and assets assessment. This helps them determine if they have an appropriate place for you. To find out if you are eligible for government assistance with your fees and accommodation payments, you will need to provide financial information to the Department of Human Services for an income and assets assessment. As the assessment process takes time, apply for the income and assets assessment early so you have this information available when you apply for a place. Otherwise you can still complete this before you move into an aged care home.
All aged care homes are required to keep your information private under state and Commonwealth legislation. You can expect that the information you provide in the forms will be treated sensitively by the aged care home.
Being offered a place
Aged care homes will consider a number of things before offering a place, even if there is a vacancy. These may include:
- your care needs
- their current residents (some aged care homes cater for particular groups, such as veterans, specific cultural backgrounds or people with particular health conditions like dementia)
- their financial and business needs.
Accepting an offer
Once you have accepted an offer of a place in an aged care home, the home will offer you a Resident Agreement and an Accommodation Agreement. These may be combined in the one document and given to you. These are formal agreements between you and your aged care home covering things like services, accommodation costs, and your rights and responsibilities.
You will need to agree to your accommodation price (the price of your room) in writing and this may be recorded as part of your Accommodation Agreement. You don’t need to decide how to pay for your accommodation until you have moved into your chosen home but you will need to make rental-style payments until you have made this decision.
You can also start preparing to move. A few things to think about include organising your medical and financial matters, and who you'll need to tell about your move.
You have up to seven days to move into your aged care home after you have agreed to accept the place. This is called pre-entry leave. While you are on pre-entry leave, your aged care home can ask you to pay the basic daily fee but you cannot be asked to pay a means-tested care fee or anything towards the cost of your accommodation.