What is residential aged care? When should you move into aged care? How much does aged care cost? There are so many questions and things to consider when facing a change in care needs. Whether your move to aged care is temporary, in the form of respite, or permanent, these are some of the questions our team are often asked.

If your question isn’t answered here, please give us a call on 1300 109 109. We’d be happy to help.

What is residential aged care?

Residential aged care is for elderly people who can no longer live independently at home due to health reasons. Carinity operates Government-accredited aged care homes that provide care for you or your loved ones. Residential aged care can be offered as either short-term respite care or permanent care. We also provide dementia care in most of our sites, with spaces designed to be calming, safe and engaging.

If you’ve had experience with aged care in the past, you might have heard the terms ‘low care’ or ‘high care’. There are no longer different rules for levels of care. You will be able to access any residential service subject to availability and the agreement of the approved provider. Your ACAT will help us determine what room is most suitable for your needs.

Funding and care services are based on an assessment of each person’s individual needs, which is managed by Carinity. If you feel you don’t require a more intensive level of care, Carinity also offer retirement villages and home care, which assists people to maintain their independence in their own homes.

Will I need to move into another aged care home if my care needs change?

Carinity residential aged care centres offers a full range of aged care services, including permanent residential care, respite care, memory-assisted living for people living with dementia, and palliative or end of life care. By offering a full range of care you’re able to stay in one location even if your care needs increase. This is often referred to as ageing in place. Although you may be able to remain at the same residential aged care community, on occasion you might need to move to another room which is specifically designed to cater for differing care needs more appropriately.

Do I have to pay for residential aged care?

The cost of aged care and how to pay for aged care are two very common questions.

Care fees and accommodation payments for new entrants contribute to the cost of your care and are determined by the Commonwealth Government. If you are transferring to a Carinity service from an existing service, fees and payments may be based on your existing arrangements.

Basic Daily Care Fee:
The basic daily care fee is 85% of the maximum rate of the single aged pension.

Means Tested Care Fee:
The means tested care fee considers income and assets above a certain threshold. You are required to complete an Income and Asset Assessment Form and submit this to Centrelink or the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) prior to your admission in order for the Commonwealth Government to determine this fee. Otherwise Carinity is allowed to charge you the maximum means tested care fee.

Accommodation Payments:
Accommodation payments may be payable depending on your means tested amount (means tested amount is determined by the Commonwealth Government according to a formula). If your mean’s tested amount at the time of entry is greater than or equal to a threshold set by the Commonwealth Government then you may be asked to make an accommodation payment in the form of a Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) or Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP). You may choose either option or a combination of each option.

Our Fees & Charges Explained guide talks you through your options in more detail.

Detailed information on accommodation payments is available on the My Aged Care website or by calling My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

What if I can’t afford to pay?

The Australian Government has made arrangements to help residents of aged care homes who may experience difficulty in paying for their care. If you can’t afford to pay, these provisions allow your fees and charges to be reduced or waived, depending on your circumstances. To find out if you are eligible for Australian Government support for residential aged care, you will need to be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) and complete an assets assessment.

What is an assets assessment?

Centrelink and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) undertake assets testing for people who will be entering permanent residential aged care or who have recently entered care, on behalf of the Department of Health and Ageing. The purpose of an assets assessment is to determine whether you are eligible for assistance with your accommodation payment. The Australian Government currently subsidises the accommodation costs of residents, either partially or fully, if their assets are below the upper assets threshold.

What is an ACAT?

Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACAT) are teams of health professionals such as nurses or social workers who assess and approve older people for government subsidised aged care. ACAT assessments are free of cost. A member of an ACAT will visit you and ask you some questions about your lifestyle and your health needs to help work out the best care option for you.

Detailed information on how to book an ACAT is available on the My Aged Care website or by calling My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

What does an ACAT do?

ACATs assess and approve older people for Government-subsidised aged care services.
An ACAT can also:
– Approve eligibility for entry into residential aged care;
– Give you information about residential aged care and home care services in your area;
– Help you arrange special respite care if this is what you require; and
– Approve eligibility for home care to help you continue living at home, such as the home care offered by Carinity.

How do I book an ACAT assessment?

You can be referred to the Government Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT ) nearest to you by your doctor, or by staff at your local health centre, hospital or Commonwealth Carelink Centre. You can also call the My Aged Care Information Line on 1800 200 422 or visit the My Aged Care website for a list of ACATs working in your area.

How will I be assessed?

A member of an ACAT will visit you and ask you some questions about your lifestyle and your health needs to help work out the best care option for you.

How long will it take me to secure a place in an aged care centre?

Once all the completed documents have been received in full, your application will be reviewed by our aged care services team. We cannot guarantee an exact timeframe, however, places are allocated based on care needs and suitability. If you require urgent care, please contact Carinity on 1300 109 109.

What are my options if there is no availability at my preferred location?

You may be given the option of accepting an alternative placement at one of our other locations until your preferred aged care centre or room choice becomes available. Carinity runs a priority waiting list system where we can contact you when your first choice of accommodation becomes available and arrange for your transfer.

Can I transfer from another non-Carinity location if my preferred accommodation becomes available?

Yes, you can transfer from another external aged care centre to a Carinity centre, but additional information and financial details will be required.

Respite care - support for carers

Carinity Aged Care communities also provide a much-valued respite service ensuring your loved ones are well looked after while you take a break from your caring role.

We know that as carers, you play a very important role in loved ones life and we understand it can be demanding. We are here to provide you that much needed support. Our dedicated respite care facilities and staff ensure every effort is made to meet your regular routine.

With our 24-hour nursing staff, we can offer day only, overnight or extended periods of respite to meet your individual needs.

There are respite suites in most of our Queensland locations, which enables you to experience the care and sense of belonging Carinity communities can provide. To find out more, please contact our Customer Service Centre on 1300 109 109.

What should I do next?

If your ACAT has determined that you are in need of residential aged care, either permanently or on a respite basis, you will need to complete some application forms. You can contact Carinity by sending an enquiry or you can call us on 1300 109 109.

How do I apply?

To apply for aged care, you’ll need to complete an application form and provide some basic medical information, to help us determine your care needs.

At Carinity, you can either apply online, complete a downloadable PDF or fill in a paper copy of the form.

We’ve made our process simpler, as we recognise it can be a stressful time. We’re here to make this time as easy as possible.