My Aged Care, ACATs and assessments – what’s it all about? Knowing where to seek support and what the different terms mean can be a little confusing when you first set out to access aged care in Australia, so we thought we’d gather some of the most common questions in one place. Here, we cover the essentials when it comes to starting and navigating the aged care process.  

What is an aged care assessment?

An aged care assessment with My Aged Care helps to evaluate someone’s eligibility to access government-funded aged care services. It also helps to identify the best type of support for that person’s care, whether that be residential, home-based or short-term care. 

Each assessment includes a comprehensive face-to-face process that is designed to consider a person’s physical, medical, social, cultural and other needs. 

What is My Aged Care?

My Aged Care is an online tool and service, established by the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Aged Care to connect the general public with aged care support, information on accessing aged care and aged care assessments. 

My Aged Care is the first step to accessing government subsidised aged care and support if you’re eligible. It’s also a clear and helpful resource in general, if you’re looking into accessing aged care for yourself or a loved one. 

Is My Aged Care free?

Yes, My Aged Care is a free service. Aged care assessments and associated referrals to aged care providers are provided free of charge.   

What is an ACAS or ACAT?

These acronyms both refer to the teams of health professionals who carry out aged care assessments in Australia. In Victoria, these are known as Aged Care Assessment Services, or ACAS. In NSW, these are known as Aged Care Assessment Teams, or ACATs. 

An ACAT or ACAS will typically include a nurse and can also include allied health professionals such as social workers, occupational therapists or physiotherapists.

If you require low-level home support, you may instead go through an assessment with a Regional Assessment Service (RAS). This will be determined through the application process.

How do I get an aged care assessment? A quick guide

It’s a relatively simple process to apply for and undergo an aged care assessment. The process is the same whether you have home care, residential care or short-term care in mind, or are not yet sure which services you might need.  

Applying for an assessment with My Aged Care

Wondering how to register for My Aged Care and begin your aged care process? 

You can either apply for an assessment online or you can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 within Australia. 

The first step will be an eligibility check. You’ll be asked about how you’re managing at home, your health and any support you’re currently receiving. If you are eligible, the team will ask some questions to complete your application for assessment. An assessor will then get in touch within 2-6 weeks to arrange an assessment at a time that suits you. 

What if I’m contacting My Aged Care for a friend or loved one? 

If you’re contacting My Aged Care on behalf of someone else, you can nominate yourself as an ongoing representative or support party with their consent. This means you can assist that person through the process and liaise with My Aged Care on their behalf.

What do I need to apply for an assessment?

You’ll need your Medicare card and at least 10 minutes to apply. If you don’t have a Medicare card, you can still contact My Aged Care. 

It can be helpful to sit down before the application and write out all of the support you are currently receiving, to give the clearest idea of the services that might help.  

What are the eligibility requirements for an assessment?

Who is eligible for My Aged Care? Eligibility depends on several factors, including:

  • Whether you are 65 years or older (50 years or older for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people). And,
  • How much assistance you are needing with everyday tasks.

You can see if you’re eligible for an assessment at My Aged Care’s eligibility checker at any time, without needing to enter any personal details. 

Who can support me during an assessment?

An aged care assessment can generally take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour and a half to complete. You’re very welcome to have a family member or friend with you through this process. 

You can also contact the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) on 1800 700 600. OPAN is provided as a free and independent service by the Australian Government.

What happens after the assessment?

Around two weeks after your aged care assessment, you’ll receive a report by mail outlining any services and support you are eligible for. You’ll also be able to log into your My Aged Care online account to review your assessment outcome and details. 

Note: If you’re being assessed for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, you will find out if you are eligible for this at your assessment. 

Depending on which support is right for your needs, you’ll receive a referral code that you can then use to connect with home or residential aged care service providers. Your chosen aged care provider will ask for this report when you apply for their services. If you are applying with Aurrum Aged Care, we’ll then sit down and work with you to develop a personalised care plan to suit your preferences and needs. 

Book a tour today

If residential services may be right for you, you are most welcome to arrange a visit to any of Aurrum Aged Care’s exemplary care homes across Victoria or NSW. You can get in touch at any time, either before or after applying for an aged care assessment. We’d love you to experience our beautifully modern rooms, our delicious and nutritious food culture, our diverse lifestyle programs and most importantly, our person-centred approach to care. Contact us to arrange your personalised tour today.  

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