What documents do you need to prepare for aged care?


A need for aged care services can sneak up on you. An event such as a fall or unexpected illness can trigger a swift transition to residential aged care, or the sudden need for home care services.

Organising essential documents in advance greatly reduces the stress of finding and accessing aged care services for you or your loved one. Here’s what you can do to get sorted.

What documents do you need to prepare for aged care?

Navigating aged care in Australia involves a LOT of paperwork.

The checklist below outlines the initial registrations, documents, and assessments you’ll need to access subsidised aged care services, as well as arrangements you can make for further down the track.


Register with My Aged Care

My Aged Care is the entry point for older Australians who wish to access government-funded aged care services.

My Aged Care coordinates funding for residential aged care, short-term respite care, Home Care Packages, and the Commonwealth Home Support Program.

You can register with My Aged Care online here: Apply for an aged care assessment | My Aged Care or by calling 1800 200 422.

Here is more information about My Aged Care:

All about My Aged Care – Aged Care Decisions

Access Australian aged care information and services | My Aged Care


Prepare for an ACAT assessment.

ACAT stands for Aged Care Assessment Team. ACAT assessments are coordinated by My Aged Care and are used to evaluate the care needs of individuals seeking to access government subsidised aged care services.

The aged care assessment process can take time (between 3-12 months) so getting the information you’ll need organised in advance is a great idea.

Here is more information about ACAT assessments, how they work, and what you can do to prepare in advance.

ACAT Assessment Guide – everything you need to know (agedcaredecisions.com.au)

ACAT Assessment | Aged Care Assessment | Aged Care Decisions


Gather documents for an Assets and Income assessment.

To access government funded aged care services you must complete an income and assets test (means assessment) with Services Australia/Centrelink.

This assessment can take 4-6 weeks to be processed, and it can be completed at the same time as an ACAT assessment. The results of this assessment are valid for 120 days and you can be reassessed if your financial situation changes significantly.

To complete the income assessment, you’ll need details about all the income you receive, assets you have, and your outstanding bills and liabilities.

You can begin the process here: http://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/sa456 or call Centrelink on 1800 227 475 for assistance to get this started.

If you’re already receiving a means-tested pension – like the aged pension, disability support pension or a DVA income support payment – then you won’t need to fill out any forms. Simply call Centrelink on the number above and ask them to start the income assessment process for you.

Here is more information about the aged care means assessment:

Residential Aged Care means assessment – Aged care entry requirements for providers – Services Australia


Pension or DVA details

Ensure your pension or DVA details are up to date, including your concession card number and expiry date. Pensioner concession cards are generally valid for 2 years.
You can make enquiries about your pension here: Age Pension – Services Australia


Medical History

Have up-to-date details of diagnoses such as diabetes and dementia handy in case you need to hurriedly forward these to potential aged care providers.
The same goes for the name and contact details of your GP and any other health specialists involved in your care.

Ensure your Medicare card is valid (and not out of date) and keep details of private health insurance, ambulance cover and other health/medical policy numbers easily accessible.

Compile other personal information.

If you’re considering a transition into residential aged care (even if not immediately), it can be helpful to have pre-considered:

  • Your likes and dislikes – food preferences, spiritual guidance
  • What kind of facilities you’d like to compare – location, size, amenities
  • Compiling full contact details for your next of kin and other relevant people


Aged Care Decisions offer a FREE and independent service that can help you find aged care vacancies and providers that suit your unique needs.

We use custom-built software, together with the knowledge of our Placements Specialists, to take your location, budget, specific care needs and personal preferences, and create a tailored aged care Options Report for you. This report narrows your search down to only include vacancies and available providers that match your needs.

Essentially, we do all the running around for you.

Contact us here to get started.


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What will you need for ‘down the track’?

Eventually, age catches up with all of us. The tricky part is that none of us is ever certain about the specific date in the future when we will be unable to make decisions on our own behalf.

Having pre-considered directives in place and organising and appointing people to manage financial and health-related matters can prevent conflict amongst family members and lessen confusion and frustration if you or your loved one are suddenly unable to make decisions.

Enduring Power of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that appoints a chosen, trusted person to make financial, legal and property decisions on your behalf if you lose the capacity to do so yourself.

An Enduring Power of Attorney can be anyone over the age of 18. You may choose a relative, friend, professional advisor, lawyer, or solicitor.

Tasks that an Enduring Power of Attorney can complete include:

  • Operating your bank accounts
  • Selling our renting your property
  • Voting at meetings on your behalf

They cannot make personal or medical decisions on your behalf, make a will for you, or swear or affirm your affidavit.


Enduring Guardian

An enduring guardian is a person you appoint to make decisions about your healthcare and lifestyle on your behalf if you lose capacity to make those decisions yourself.

An Enduring Guardian can make decisions about:

  • Health care and medical treatments
  • Lifestyle aspects including accommodation, domestic arrangements, social connections, and recreational activities.

An Enduring Guardian cannot make decisions about your financial affairs or vote in an election on your behalf.

You can appoint more than one Enduring Guardian and choose how each person selected can act on your behalf.

Here is more information about Guardianship and Enduring Power of Attorney, including links to forms and information relevant to your state:

Planning for the future – guardianship and enduring power of attorney (agedcaredecisions.com.au)



You can appoint a nominee to act on your behalf to liaise with the Department of Human Services, including Centrelink and Medicare.

To appoint a nominee, you must complete an authorisation form online: Someone to deal with us on your behalf – Services Australia

You can also complete a paper form by dropping into a Government Service Centre. Call 132 300 to find your nearest centre.


Advanced Care Directive

An Advanced Care Directive is a document that records your wishes regarding medical treatments, spiritual and end-of-life care, should you become unable to speak for yourself due to illness or injury.

An Advanced Care Directive is only used if you are unable to make or communicate your own decisions. The directive is then used to guide the decision making of the medical staff, your substitute decision maker if you have nominated one, and your family.

Advance Care Planning Australia, is national program funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. They offer helpful resources and guides for organising the health care you would like in the future:

Available support materials – Advance Care Planning Australia

At Aged Care Decisions we can assist you at every stage of your aged care journey.

Our no stress, no fuss, 100% FREE aged care matching service helps tens of thousands of Australian families each month.

We use custom-built software, together with the knowledge of our Placements Specialists, to take your location, budget, specific care needs and personal preferences, and create a tailored aged care Options Report for you. This report narrows your search down to only include vacancies and available providers that match your needs.

Essentially, we do all the running around for you – and it costs you nothing.

Contact us here to get started.

Looking for expert advice?

Talk to one of our aged care specialists

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