Getting Started

The First Step – an Aged Care Assessment

An Aged Care Assessment is the most important first step in the aged care entry process.

During a face to face interview with a member of the government’s Aged Care Assessment Team, a comprehensive evaluation of the physical, medical, psychological, cultural, social and restorative care needs of a potential aged care resident takes place.

The outcome of this assessment will determine if the potential aged care resident is eligible for government subsidised aged care services and what level of service is most suitable. The outcome is communicated in writing through a letter addressed to the person who took the assessment.

Why is it required?

An Aged Care Assessment is needed to have the government pay for some or all of a potential resident’s aged care costs.

What information will we need?

The Aged Care Assessment doesn’t require the potential resident to fill in any forms, but the following information will be required:

  • Details on how day-to-day activities are managed, and how much help is needed to fulfil them;
  • Details on state of health. Medical evidence will be required, such as doctors reports, hospital discharge reports, current and past pharmaceutical prescriptions, details on diagnosed illnesses;
  • Details on how much assistance is currently required to live at home – e.g. getting in and out of bed, using bathroom and toileting facilities, details on how meals are currently prepared;
  • Details on whether respite or other formal home care services have been used, or are currently being used;
  • A trusted person can assist the potential resident during the assessment (whether it is a family member, nominated representative, or a carer). The assessment occurs as a two way conversation therefore, the person being assessed can ask any relevant questions.

How can we organise an assessment?

Aged Care Decisions is not currently able to organise an Aged Care Assessment on your behalf. You will need to contact My Aged Care to organise an Aged Care Assessment.

Web: An assessment can be requested online by going to MyAged Care: http://myagedcare.gov.au/referral

Phone: Call MyAgedCare on 1800 200 422

An assessment can also be requested by a GP, a doctor, a hospital nurse or administrator, a community nurse or other health care practitioners.

How long does the process take?

An assessment will occur within 30 days of a request being submitted online or by telephone.

If the potential resident is in hospital an assessment will occur within 1-5 days.

The assessment itself takes approximately three hours, and can occur in a potential resident’s own home, or in a hospital.

An assessment outcome letter will typically be sent within a week of an assessment occurring.

What will the Aged Care Assessment let us do?

The Aged Care Assessment is a vital step that must be completed before entering aged care. It is the key element that determines whether someone is eligible to receive government’s subsidised aged care services or not.

Referral Codes

Aged Care Assessment outcome letters issued after 2016 will contain a series of 12 digit referral codes (e.g. 1-12345678901).

You may see Referral Codes for ‘Residential-Permanent’, ‘Residential Respite – Low Care’ or ‘Residential Respite – High Care’. A referral code approves a person for certain types of government subsidised services.

These codes will be required for Aged Care Decisions to gather appropriate aged care vacancy options.

An aged care provider will then use these codes to view a potential resident’s care plan and aged care assessment.

If a potential resident has not been approved for aged care services via the assessment outcome letter, a reassessment can be organised if a change occurs in medical circumstances or coping abilities.