Aged care homes have to provide all the care and services required to meet your needs. This includes supporting your health, wellbeing, social life, and safety. They also help with everyday tasks, living arrangements, and personal care.
You can expect to live in a homely environment with hotel-type services designed to meet your day-to-day needs.
Your room will be fitted with essential furniture, such as appropriate bed and bedding, bedside table, wardrobe/drawers, arm chairs and toiletries. Individual homes may also provide other furnishings (e.g. televisions) as standard, in their rooms.
Your individual room
You will be able to personalise your room with small items like photos or keepsakes. It may even be possible to take some small pieces of furniture such as a favourite chair or your own desktop computer.
Talk to your aged care home to find out what will be in your room and what you can bring.
Services that meet your day-to-day needs and maintain the aged care home you live in.
Meals and refreshments
Healthy, well-balanced meals with a variety of foods. Generally three meals a day, plus morning tea, afternoon tea, and supper. Special dietary requirements to meet medical, cultural or religious beliefs will be accommodated.
Personal and heavy laundry services (excluding dry cleaning) to cover all your belongings.
A variety of social activities, both in-house and in the community. These will be designed to protect your dignity and enable you to take part in life outside the aged care services. A few examples are group shopping trips, bingo games, and arts and crafts sessions. These can be tailored to meet your needs, wishes, and abilities.
All your basic toiletries such as towels, soap, shampoo/conditioner, razors, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.
Help in emergencies
Assistance in situations such as a health emergency, need for an ambulance, or an evacuation. This includes at least one staff member on call and close by 24 hours a day.
A bedside locker, chairs with arms, containers for personal laundry, wardrobe space and towel rails. Your aged care home will also have room and furnishings for dining, lounging, and leisure activities.
Water, gas and electricity for heating, cooling and cooking.
Cleaning and waste disposal services
Cleanliness and tidiness for the entire home - including your room, if you need it.
Maintenance of grounds and building
General upkeep and maintenance of the building, the facilities, the grounds and gardens.
Care and support services
Services that meet your personal and clinical care needs.
Personal hygiene and grooming
Help with all aspects of personal care. This includes showering, bathing, getting dressed, going to the toilet (including maintaining continence).
Help to eat, communicate, and move around the home; for instance, getting up and out of bed. This can include help using utensils and eating aids, or feeding if necessary. Staff will also assist with checking hearing aid batteries and cleaning spectacles.
Devices to help mobility such as walking frames and wheelchairs. This includes fitting of artificial limbs. Motorised wheelchairs and custom-made aids are not included.
Services such as speech therapy, podiatry (foot care) and physiotherapy. Emotional support and support in adjusting to life in an aged care home are also included. Staff will also help arrange appointments and visits.
These include an initial assessment and care planning. This help can include complex pain management, catheter or stoma care, wound management, and dialysis treatment.
Toileting and incontinence management
Provision of special bedding materials and incontinence aids, such as bed pans, absorbent pads and shower chairs.
Help accessing health professionals, taking and ordering medications, and carrying out health treatments. Your aged care home will help arrange appointments, but you may be expected to pay for transport and/or escort to and from appointments with health professionals. Health professionals include, but are not limited to, dentists, psychiatrists, optometrists, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers.
Also includes individual attention and support for cognitive impairments (e.g. dementia).
Personalise your services
All residential aged care homes have to meet certain care standards. This ensures that all residents receive the appropriate level of care to meet their needs.
In addition, some homes offer a range of services that can be purchased. These include hotel-type service upgrades that go beyond the minimum standard required by law. There can also be additional fees for some care services depending on your needs. If you receive these services it is an extra expense.
Aged care homes may provide these services as additional services or extra services.
Additional services vary from place to place. They may be charged in a pay-as-you-use system, where you choose what services you wish to pay for, or as part of a bundle. You may also be required to sign up for some additional services as a condition of entering the aged care home.
Services can include things like an on-site hairdresser, delivery of a newspaper, Foxtel in your room, or wine with dinner. Fees can also be charged for some outing costs, like transport, entry fees, and purchased food. The fees vary depending on what bundle of services you receive.
You cannot be asked to pay for something that you have not previously agreed to, or for something that you will not benefit from.
Some aged care homes have been granted extra service status. This means they can provide a bundle of agreed higher standard hotel-type services for a set extra service fee, without impacting upon the level of care being provided.
Examples of extra services may include: an a la carte menu, free WiFi, individual outings, or higher quality cutlery and linen.
If you choose to occupy an extra service room, you will have to pay a set fee for the bundle of extra services - whether you use them all or not.