Has it become apparent to you that your older loved ones need your support to manage many of their daily tasks? Sometimes it creeps up over a period of time. What might have started as mowing the lawn for them or doing a bit of the house cleaning on a weekend may now look quite different. You might be asking yourself how to get started with aged care services.
If you are providing support for your older loved one, now is the time to investigate aged care services that may benefit them. Aged care services are not there to make your older loved one feel inadequate; they are there to allow them to continue living well at home with as much independence as possible.
How to get started with aged care services
The starting point for all Australian government-subsidised aged care services is My Aged Care. Making a referral to My Aged Care for an assessment is how your older loved one enters the system. The important thing to note is that aged care services are in high demand in Australia, so there is a queue for services.
This highlights the importance of starting the process of registering with My Aged Care sooner rather than later, because services and supports are not instantaneous, and the older person may become frailer before they receive support. Don’t just jump in and sign your loved one up. Give this process the consideration it needs.
A referral to My Aged Care must give an accurate account of the older person’s health, abilities, the level of assistance they require and any issues with mood or memory. By not providing a true reflection of the older person’s situation, they may be disadvantaged going forward. In other words, stoicism will not work in their favour.
Talk to your older loved one, too. They need to be included and have their wishes considered. It may be difficult for them to admit they need help.
By understanding the process and what is involved, you put your loved one in a position to get to a level of support that will allow them to continue living well in their own home for as long as possible.
Some useful links:
This article is the third of the Getting started with home care series by Coral Wilkinson. Other articles in the series include:
How do you get your ageing parent to accept help? Turn resistance into acceptance
What to think about before contacting My Aged Care –
Registering for aged care services with My Aged Care –
Other useful links include:
See Me Aged Care Navigators – experts in navigating the home care space to make sure your loved one gets the optimal service and support tailored to their needs – https://www.seemeacn.com.au/
Australian Federal Government website to access all aged care services – My Aged Care – https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/ This is where you register for an assessment to access most government-subsidised aged care services. Please do your research and plan and prepare before you make your call to register your parent. Check out the site, the services available etc. Think about your parent’s situation, what they need etc.
Carers’ Circle article on accessing aged care services – with an ACAT assessment –
Photo credit: Senior woman sitting with daughter on Pexels
A version of this article “How do I get started with aged care?” originally appeared on Coral Wilkinson’s See Me Aged Care Navigators website. Reproduced with permission.