If you’re eligible for short-term restorative care, the next step is to connect with aged care providers. This will help you know what your options are and what’s available in your local area.
On this page, we cover the key steps involved in searching for and connecting with the right provider for your needs:
Find providers near you
There are a few ways to find providers.
- Ask your assessor to refer you to a provider.
If you choose this option, the assessor will refer you to a local provider, who will then contact you directly.
- Use the Find a provider tool to search for local providers yourself.
If you choose this option, your assessor will give you a referral code. You can give this referral code to your chosen provider, and they will take it forward from there.
- Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 for guidance.
Create a shortlist
Every provider is different. It’s good to compare what is available to determine the best match for you.
One of the easiest ways to create a shortlist is by using the Find a provider tool on this website. You can use the filters in the tool to help you find services that best match your needs, starting with your location and the services you’re eligible for.
Some providers offer specialised services. You can look for providers who cater for specific health conditions, communities, cultures, faiths, and languages. This can be included in your search. Select the services you want when you go to search, and this will help give you a more tailored list.
Make contact with providers
Once you’ve found a service provider, it’s a good idea to contact them. Talking to them gives you the chance to ask questions, and helps you understand what to expect. At this stage, you don’t have to commit to a provider. You can choose not to go with a provider for any reason.
What you might talk about
There are a few key topics you can talk about with service providers that can help you narrow down your options.
Check if the provider you want can start services when you’d like them to start. Not every provider will be available. Some have waitlists you can join. You can also see availability by searching for providers using the Find a provider tool.
Ask them about how much your contribution will be, how often you will pay for the service, and what happens if you take a break. Remember you can negotiate the cost with your preferred provider.
Ask for the provider’s hours of operation to make sure that they can help when you need them.
Asking questions is very important when you have diverse needs. These might be cultural and linguistic, or they might be due to a physical or mental health condition. Knowing that a provider has the experience and skills to tailor their services to your individual needs will ensure you find the right people to help you.
Meeting your care needs
Ask about the types of services you might need and how the provider can arrange and organise them. As you only get one referral code, it’s up to the provider to arrange all the individual services that you will need. For example, do they have a preferred physiotherapist, or can you use your own? Do they organise health professionals to come to your house?
It's important that you talk with the provider that will be delivering your services and feel comfortable with them. They should provide you with quality services and respect your rights. Read more on your rights and quality in aged care.
Choose a provider
After you’re comfortable with a provider and decide to accept their services, you then develop a care plan with them. This outlines your needs, how these needs will be met.
It’s important to remember that short-term restorative care isn't a package that you choose how to spend. It’s a coordinated range of services recommended by a team of health professionals. Working together, you come up with a plan to reach your goals.
This plan will be the basis of a Flexible Care Agreement, which is a legal document setting out the services you will receive, who will provide them and how much they will cost. You must agree to this before services can begin.