Frequently Asked Questions
The Aged Care Process and Applying for Residential Care
Applying for residential aged care services can be difficult and the process is often very demanding and confusing for people. The following section covers some of the questions we are most commonly asked. We hope that it provides some information and helps to clarify some of the important aspects of the Aged Care process.
- How do I arrange a visit to one of your facilities?
- My relative has dementia. Do you have Dementia Specific Services that cater to their needs?
- My relative has been living with me for a few years, but is now in hospital. However, I don’t think I will manage when they leave to come home. What are my options?
- My relative has been living with me for a few years, but I am starting to struggle at home to look after my loved one. What should I do?
- What is the difference between Low and High Care? What are the costs involved?
- Where can I obtain more information about Residential Aged Care?
1. How do I arrange a visit to one of your facilities?
We would love to meet you and show you through any of our aged care facilities. You will be met by a senior member of our nursing / management staff, who will show you (and your family) around each facility. A lot of time will be allocated for this meeting, so that you can properly be shown through and even meet some of the senior staff on duty.
So that we can properly allocate enough time to provide you with a comprehensive tour and answer any questions you may have, it will be necessary to make an appointment. This can be done by simply making contact via phone (preferable) or email with any of the aged care homes you are interested in. On the day, you will also be provided with brochures and further information, which you can then take home and show to other members of your family.
2. My relative has dementia. Do you have Dementia Specific Services that cater to their needs?
Yes we do. At Hope Aged Care, we understand that relatives with dementia require very specialised high care and thus we have separate Dementia Units at our facilities in Tullamarine and Brunswick. All our nursing staff who work in these areas are trained to care for these residents with compassion and are receptive to the higher care needs each resident requires.
Each facility also has a set of Clinical Care Guidelines, written by General Practitioners and Physicians that provide excellent and comprehensive guidelines to properly care for residents with behavioural issues. These guidelines assist the nursing staff and allied health care workers, so that each resident is kept as comfortable as possible. In addition, we also employ the use of music and art, to provide an holistic care environment.
Both our facilities at Tullamarine and Brunswick have beautiful outdoor Dementia Walkways. Each consists of a gentle walk down a path, with images on each side of the walls, designed to create a sense of calm and ease. Many relatives find this a lovely way to spend time with their loved one.
3. My relative has been living with me for a few years, but is now in hospital. However, I don’t think I will manage when they leave to come home. What are my options?
This is a very common scenario and occurs every day in hospital. We all want the best care for our loved ones, but sometimes it can be very difficult to raise these types of questions or concerns, but be rest assured, each hospital has a wide variety of services (e.g. Social Workers, Aged Care doctors, Physiotherapists) that can assist you and deal with this everyday. In fact, in most cases, these services will enable you to continue caring for your loved one for a much longer period than you previously thought.
Sometimes, the Aged Care doctors can visit your relative and provide additional medical advice or even recommend a period of care in an Aged Care ward. Often, this is a great opportunity for all members of the allied health team (doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, speech pathologists) to properly assess each person on an individual basis. Sometimes, additional support services can be implemented to assist you to better care for your relative at home (e.g. meals on wheels, assistance with showering, cleaning, nursing care); or they can also help you to find a residential care facility for short or long-term care needs.
4. My relative has been living with me for a few years, but I am starting to struggle at home to look after my loved one. What should I do?
Firstly, you are not alone. Caring for a loved one can be a rewarding experience but as they become increasingly frail it can be stressful and demanding on all involved. It is important to realise that sometimes, seeking assistance early is the best option to help you with any issues or concerns your may have.
If the issue is not urgent, contact your local council who can advise you of local government services available that may be able to assist. If the issues are more complex the council staff can refer you to the Aged Care Assessment Services (ACAS). Alternatively, if you are concerned, your local doctor can make a referral to the local ACAS team.
The Aged Care Assessment Service can makes assessments in your or your loved one’s home to make sure they gain access to the care services appropriate to their needs. They are able to refer to a wide range of service providers, including Commonwealth Aged Care Packages (CACPs), Home and Community Care (HACC) Services and residential aged care options.
You can find more information about your local Aged Care Assessment Team at this website or visit your local GP.
5. What is the difference between Low and High Care? What are the costs involved?
Low level Care is provided to residents who are generally independent however require little or minimal assistance with daily activities such as showering, dressing, provision of meals and medication management. A higher level of care is typically provided to residents who require full assistance with medication administration, clinical nursing (24 hours), assistance with feeding, toileting and continence management.
The process of determining whether someone is in need of either Low or High care is determined by a variety of people (doctors, nurses, and social workers) who are experts in this area. The decision is made only after consultation with the individual, medical and allied health input and of course, the person’s family who often provide the best source of information.
Residents who require Low Level Care are required to provide a bond upon admission into a Residential Aged Care Facility. This is an amount of money that is negotiated with each facility on a case by case basis. Once the bond is paid, there are no further expenses required. Residents who require High Level Care do not have to pay a bond.
A comprehensive assessment is usually done within the first month of a residents admission, and this information is provided to the Government so that funding can be allocated appropriately.
6. Where can I obtain more information about Residential Aged Care?
Further information can be obtained during your visit to any of our facilities, and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have:
Hope Aged Care Brunswick
Corner of Lux Way and Percy St, Brunswick, Victoria
Phone: (03) 9380 8028
Fax: (03) 9380 8631
North Western District Private Nursing Home
14 South Circular Drive, Gladstone Park, Victoria
Phone: (03) 9338 0111
Fax: (03) 9338 1336
Benlynne Park Private Nursing Home
2 Killara St, Sunshine West, Victoria
Phone: (03) 9312 3111
Fax: (03) 9312 3134
In addition, you can visit the following Government websites:
The Department of Health and Ageing, Australian Government
Aged Care Victoria, State Government of Victoria