November 28, 2023


How do I get assessed for Aged Care Services?

My Aged Care is the gateway to Commonwealth subsidised services and support for older people living in Australia.

Subsidised services and support means that the government pays a contribution towards the support or the care that you need. 

This support will allow you to continue living in your own home, or if you are thinking of entering an aged care facility, allow for you to move into a facility and have some costs covered by the government.

My Aged Care consists of a website and call centre.

To be considered for these Commonwealth subsidised services and support, you or someone on your behalf will need to make contact with My Aged Care, either by making a referral online via the website or calling My Aged Care.

It is a free service to contact My Aged Care and the referrals and assessments that follow on from your first contact with My Aged Care are also free.

To be eligible to receive services and support you need to be 65 years or older, or if you are a first nations person, the age is 50 years or older.

Eligibility also means demonstrating some need for services and support.

This need could be having someone to mow your lawn or needing someone to drive you to appointments because you aren't driving anymore.

It could be your daughter or friend cooking meals for you and dropping them to you because you aren't up to cooking for yourself anymore.

It could also mean someone helping you clean your home each week because you struggle with this task.

Most older people who are already being supported in some way by their family, friends or neighbours will be able to demonstrate a need for services and support from My Aged Care.

Important things to know before you contact My Aged Care.

Whether you contact My Aged Care by phone or make an online referral, either for yourself or an older loved one, there are some important things to consider before you make the initial contact.

Being prepared for the initial contact will enable you to get a better outcome from the initial screening process and subsequent assessments.

The  screening process for My Aged Care is not an in depth process, therefore it can fail to capture what is really going on in an older person's home.

The online screening process will ask you to answer a series of questions relating to what you can and cannot do for yourself.

The answers to the questions that are asked do not allow you to describe your situation in depth, you are only able to highlight a little circle that gives a general type of response.

Phone contact with My Aged Care  is a similar process, with the call centre staff asking you a series of questions that will determine how much support you are currently receiving from other people or how much support you may benefit from receiving. The call centre staff are not able to make personalised or clinical recommendations nor delve deeper into the answers you have provided, they are reading off a scripted dialogue that adopts a 'general' approach only.

If you fail to accurately describe your situation you may portray a lower need for services and support than is your reality.

It is important that you and a support person, maybe a family member or a friend, sit down and make a list of all the support you are being provided with before you make your first contact with My Aged Care.

This list is what you will need to convey to My Aged Care to ensure your needs are accurately captured.

When you have your list completed and feel ready to make contact with My Aged Care, you'll need your Medicare card to register, though if you don't have a Medicare card, you should still contact My Aged Care.

You won't be excluded from receiving support if you don't have a Medicare card or are not an Australian citizen.

If you are making contact with My Aged Care on behalf of someone else, you can nominate yourself as a representative at this time. This means that you will be able to speak with My Aged Care whenever you have follow up contact about your older loved one.

My Aged Care also provides information on other aspects of aged care, including details of providers of care in any local area . 

The My Aged Care website also lists the fees providers charge to deliver services and support and it also has information on possible costs you will need to contribute to your care, if you are able to.

There is a lot of information on the My Aged Care website. It can be confusing to work out exactly what it all means and what is relevant to you.

So take it one step at a time...give some thought to making the initial contact via the website or calling the My Aged Care call centre when you have given some thought to the actual needs or support you or your ageing loved one is requiring.Get yourself or your ageing loved one into the system sooner rather than later.

Check out our other blog posts to gain more insight into the next steps once you have registered with My Aged Care.

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