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Research how aged care works

When you need aged care, the first step is to call My Aged Care to register for an assessment of your care needs.

If you don't need care now, it can be difficult to know what information will be useful as you won't know what type of care you'll be eligible for. The information for each type of aged care or program is different, for example:

  • the costs
  • the fee estimator tools
  • needing a financial assessment
  • the service finder tools
  • which assessment you might be referred for
  • how to access services.

But there are some things you can do now so that you're ready when you need care.

Start finding out about service providers

You can use the service finder to get an idea of the service providers in your area and what information there is about each one.

However don't spend a lot of time finding out about services before you know which type of care or program you might be assessed for.

For example, if you research home care package service providers, this may not be relevant information for you if you are assessed for services as part of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

If you need aged care suddenly in the future, it will be easier to find information you need if you know how to use the service finder tools and what they can tell you about service providers.

Once you're ready to register for an assessment, the My Aged Care contact centre will tell you what type of care and services you'll be assessed for.

Start finding out about costs

The service finders have information about each of the service providers in your area, including some fees and costs for home care packages and care in an aged care home.

The amount you may be asked to pay will depend on your financial situation.

If you know what type of care or program you might be assessed for, you may want to look at the fee estimator tools to get an estimate of the costs you may be expected to pay. This can also give you an idea of the type of information you will be asked for if you need a financial assessment.

However don't spend a lot of time researching service providers' fees and entering information into the fee estimators if you don't yet know what type of care or program you might be assessed for.

For example, if you are found eligible for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, you won't need the fee estimator or a financial assessment as the way costs are worked out is different from other programs.

Once you're ready to register for an assessment, the My Aged Care contact centre will tell you what type of care and services you'll be assessed for.

If you are going to be assessed for a home care package or care in an aged care home it's important to get a financial assessment from the Department of Human Services as soon as possible. This will help you to:

  • get more accurate information about costs using the right service finder tool
  • work out costs with service providers.

For now, it will be helpful to explore the website so you know where to find:

  • information on costs in the service finders
  • the fee estimator tools.

This will make it easier to work out costs when you need aged care.

Read about the assessment

People are sometimes worried about the face-to-face assessment that you need to have to access care. Reading about what to expect can help.

Read about the main types of care or programs

You might find it useful to read the 'about' page for the main aged care programs:

Plan ahead

Read information about planning ahead, especially:

Last reviewed: 14 February, 2018.