Do my parents need to go into aged care?

How well were the older generation coping at the family New Year gatherings?  Did Dad seem overwhelmed by a houseful of youngsters? Was grandma looking frailer than last year?

Maybe someone needs regular support with housework and the activities of daily living.  Welcome to the world of aged care.

If your loved one is ageing gracefully, then the first step is to arrange an Aged Care Assessment by the Aged Care Assessment Service (“ACAS”).  ACAS is the ‘gatekeeper’ to Commonwealth regulated aged care.  ACAS team contact details are available at http://www.agedcareaustralia.gov.au/ACATfinder or call 1800 200 422.

The ACAS assessor, usually a social worker or nurse, visits the older person at home to ‘assess’ their physical and mental capabilities for living at home.  The resultant ACAS Assessment could be for RESPITE and/or PERMANENT in a LOW CARE or HIGH CARE facility.

If your loved one is really unwell, for example, a stroke or significant dehydration, then prompt medical attention is essential.  Your local public hospital could provide urgent care in a key pad secure ward for confused and/or wandering patients.

If the hospital medical staff state that the elderly patient cannot go back home to live, possibly alone, then the hospital should look after the person until permanent aged care is arranged.  Once the acute medical condition is controlled the patient could be moved to a rehabilitation ward or direct to interim or transition care (read ‘holding bay’) within that hospital network.

Once any rehabilitation is complete and the medical condition stabilized the hospital staff arrange for an ACAS Assessment to be undertaken.  Then the family is encouraged to find a permanent aged care placement, fast.

Any questions? Please call Christine on 03 9808 0338.