If you’re thinking about moving into an aged care home, you may be wondering about the experiences and changes that could be ahead of you. Let’s look a little closer at what to expect from a nursing home or aged care home in Australia, and whether this type of care could be right for your needs.  

When should I consider an aged care home?

More Australians is living longer lives than any other point in history, with Australia facing an increasingly ageing population. One of the realities of living longer is that we’re all likely to need some extra support and care as we age. Often, a move into aged care home can actively improve a person’s quality of life, because it can mean that person has lots of support, social connection and expert care in one place. Entering aged care can be a good move if:

  • You or a loved one need help with everyday activities such as cleaning, shopping or cooking
  • You or a loved one need assistance with daily personal care like dressing, eating or bathing, or regular medical care
  • You or a loved one require home modifications such as ramps, handrails or lifting equipment, or if
  • Living at home is no longer meeting your needs. 

An aged care home vs. home care: What’s the difference?

An aged care home is one of various options for accessing age care support in Australia. Below, you can read about the different types of care you can consider. These might seem like simple differentiations, but it can be really useful to know the difference between these key terms. 

Firstly, what is aged care? 

Aged care encompasses all the types of care, support and services you can benefit from as you get older. Aged care can help a person stay connected and healthy, maintain their independence, and fulfil their social, cultural and other needs. 

Aged care can take a number of forms. This may include professional services and support, as well as important informal care from family and friends.  

What is an aged care facility, or residential aged care?

Residential aged care is where you move into an aged care home or facility, where you have 24/7 access to care and support. An aged care home may be different to what you might expect from the old stereotypes. For example, with Aurrum you can expect a beautifully modern room, high-end dining, lovely common areas, dedicated care teams and a range of vibrant social and wellbeing programs.

An aged care home can provide a higher level of support, as you’ll have access to help around the clock if you need it. You might move into an aged care home if you need help with daily activities, with medical care, or if living at home is no longer easy. 

What is home care? 

Home care can help you to keep living in your own home, typically if you can manage most activities but require some assistance. Help at home may include regular visits from nursing staff and health professionals, personal carers and social visitors. Home care services are often provided through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, or CHSP.

How do assisted living facilities work?

Assisted living facilities can offer a blend of both residential and home care. You have your own space to live in, but there are services to help with home maintenance, meal preparation, cleaning and personal care as needed.

Short term care options

Short term care is also known as respite care, and this can either be provided at home or in a residential aged care home. Aged care support can be very flexible, and sometimes you might need extra support just for a short time. This might be useful if you’ve had a stay in hospital and are recovering, or if your usual carer needs a break to recharge. 

Which services are provided by aged care homes?

If you’re living in a modern aged care home, you’ll have access to lots of services to support you in your daily life. This includes serviced accommodation so you don’t need to clean or garden, expert clinical and health care services, personal care assistance if you need this, and easy access to allied health professionals like nutritionists and physiotherapists. 

At Aurrum we provide delicious dining for all meals and snacks, with an ever-changing nutritious and seasonal menu prepared by onsite chefs. You’ll also have full choice in how you like to spend your time: be it reading the paper in a bright lounge, connecting with nature in the garden, or joining our varied lifestyle program that can range from crafts to music and pet therapy.

Who provides aged care?

There are various providers of aged care services in Australia, including private providers, government providers and not-for-profit providers. 

  • Some providers, including Aurrum Aged Care, receive some level of funding by the Australian Government to make places more affordable, and these providers are regulated by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC). 
  • Some providers don’t receive any subsidies from the Australian Government, and these providers are regulated by state and territory governments. 

Government support for moving into an aged care home

The Australian Government subsidises most types of aged care for people who are eligible. You may be eligible for government subsidised care if:

  • You are 65 years of age or older (50 years or older if you identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person)
  • You need help to do the things you used to do.

If you can afford to pay, you can expect to contribute towards the costs of your care. There are limits and protections in place to ensure aged care is accessible to everyone in Australia. You can also choose to access privately funded services and pay the full costs for your care yourself. 

Costs of living in an aged care home

So how does aged care work cost-wise? This will depend on your financial situation and eligibility for government subsidies. Rest assured that it’s possible to move into aged care on the pension and in a range of circumstances. 

Typically, residential aged care providers charge:

  • a basic daily fee
  • an accommodation fee
  • a means-tested care fee, and
  • fees for extra services. 

Our Guide to Aged Care Fees can shed more light on each of these payment types. 

What you pay will depend on the provider you choose, the level of care you need and the amount of government assistance you may be eligible for. At Aurrum we don’t charge extra fees, as we believe in maintaining a premium standard for all of our residents.  

The timeline for applying for an aged care home

Each application process for aged care can take a different amount of time, and this can depend on whether there’s a room availability at the aged care home you’re enquiring about. It can sometimes take a few months for an availability to come up, so it’s good to begin the application process as soon as possible if you feel an aged care home is the right next step. 

If you’re in need of urgent residential care or respite care, it’s always worth speaking to the provider you’re considering. We’ll do everything we can to help you find the right support for your needs. 

Our quick guide to aged care provides a step-by-step process for applying, but two important steps in the timeline can be: 

  • Requesting to tour, visit or learn more about the aged care homes you’re interested in applying to, and
  • Applying for an assessment with My Aged Care to see if you are eligible for subsidised aged care.

If you are eligible for subsidised aged care you’ll receive a personalised approval letter and support plan that you can use to apply with providers. 

Finding and choosing an aged care home

The right aged care home for you can depend on a range of factors, including your health, care needs, the services at the aged care home and whether your friends and family will be able to visit easily. Of course, it’s also really important that you feel comfortable and reassured at the aged care home you choose.  

It can help to visit a few several care homes in person, to see for yourself:

  • What your room will look like
  • What care and services are available
  • How tailored the support will be to your needs
  • How much other residents like living there. 

My Aged Care offers a search tool to find government-funded providers as well as non government-funded providers. Of course, at Aurrum we would be very happy to show you through any of our aged care homes in New South Wales and Victoria without any obligation or pressure. 

Moving into an aged care home

Once you’ve accepted an offer from an aged care home and chosen your room type, the next step will be to sign your resident agreement and care agreement. These cover the care and services you’ll receive, fee information and your rights and responsibilities, so it’s best to take some time and look over these with friends, family and a legal professional if you so choose.

The next step will be moving day. You might have friends or family members help you move into your new home, and we do everything we can to make this process easy for you. At this time we also sit down with you – and your family if you wish – to develop your unique care plan. A care plan encompasses everything from meal preferences to how you like to spend your time, to the level of care that will best support your independence. With our person-centred approach to care, you’re always in control of choices around your independence, finances and support.

My Aged Care has also compiled a helpful list of people and organisations to notify as you’re moving into aged care.

Settling into an aged care home

As you settle into your new home, it’s time to enjoy all of the things that residential aged care can bring! You might be surprised by just how much there is on offer, from entertaining groups that visit the care home to outings that can take you to cinemas, shops and parks. You might like to book in a massage, schedule a hairdressing appointment or join the choir. 

There can be some new faces and surroundings to get used to, but with our friendly team and beautiful environments we are here to help you settle in and feel right at home. 

Keeping a support network in aged care

It’s important for us all to maintain connections with the people we’ve come to know and love. Your friends, family members and visitors are encouraged to visit you at your care home – at some of Aurrum’s locations we even have private dining rooms for family functions. You can also come and go as you like with friends and family. Our caring team is always available to help you enjoy old friendships and of course form new ones. 

Our friendly team is here to support you

If you are considering one of the Aurrum Aged Care locations for a short term or long term stay, we’d love the chance to show you around. You can explore our locations in Victoria and New South Wales, and get in touch to enquire about a personalised tour at a time that suits you. We look forward to meeting you!

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