Aged Care Glossary
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If you have reached retirement age then you may receive the Age Pension. This is a Department of Human Services payment which ensures you have an income for your retirement.
If you are an older person living in Australia then you may receive in home or residential care. This is personal and/or nursing care to support you to stay as independent and healthy as you can be. These services can also assist you if you’re caring for someone older.
Aged Care Act 1997
The Aged Care Act 1997 is the Commonwealth legislation that allows government funding to be provided for aged care services for older Australians.
Aged Care Assessment
When the My Aged Care department is evaluating your needs and eligibility, they may visit you to conduct a comprehensive face-to-face assessment.
Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT or ACAS in Victoria)
When you are applying for a subsidised in-home care package, a team of health professionals, known as an Aged Care Assessment Team, (or ACAS in Victoria) will perform the necessary processes on behalf of My Aged Care. An ACAT assessor may include a nurse, social worker, and/or other health professionals. ACATs can approve your access to residential care, Home Care packages, and transition care.
Aged Care Client Record
Your Aged Care Client Record (ACCR) is the form completed by the Aged Care Assessment Team following your assessment. In includes information about your assessment and approval for you to receive a Home Care Package, transition care or help at home or to move into an aged care home.
Aged Care Complaints Commissioner
The Aged Care Complaints Commissioner is an independent statutory office holder responsible for providing a free complaints resolution service across Australia. You can contact the Complaints Commissioner if you wish to raise a complaint or concern about an Australian Government-subsidised aged care service. This includes services for residential care and residential respite care, Home Care Packages, Commonwealth Home Support Programme, and flexible care, including transition care and the National Aboriginal and Flexible Aged Care Programmes.
Aged care service
Aged care services, whether provided in your home or through residential or flexible care, are services that are designed to help you stay as independent as you can. You may be eligible to receive a subsidy from the Commonwealth Government to help cover the cost of aged care services, either through a Home Care Package or via the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency
An Australian Government statutory agency established under the Aged Care Act 1997 to ensure Australians receiving Australian Government subsidised aged care services receive a high quality of care.
Allied health support
If you have a minor health condition, allied health support services can assist you with services such as physiotherapy, speech pathology, occupational therapy, podiatry, nutrition and diet and exercise physiology.
An approved provider is an organisation that has been approved to provide residential care, home care or flexible care under the Aged Care Act 1997. If you receive a subsidy from the Australian Government to help pay for aged care services, the provider you choose must be an approved provider.
A carer is a person who plays a role in supporting another person with their ongoing needs. The carer can also be an aged care customer.
You are known as a care recipient if you receive care and support in physical tasks, personal or medical care, and/or social activities. This care may occur in your own home, community, or in an aged care home.
Carer support groups
Carer support groups can provide an opportunity to meet with other carers to share experiences, feelings and ideas and to express concerns and discuss problems. These groups also provide the opportunity for carers to take a break and socialise.
Charter of Care Recipients’ Rights and Responsibilities for Home Care
If you are receiving a Home Care package, you have rights and responsibilities. These are outlined under the Aged Care Act 1997 and are called the Charter of Care Recipients’ Rights and Responsibilities for Home Care.
When your contact the My Aged Care about access to aged care services, a contact centre staff member will create your Client Record. The client record will include your details (and carer or representative details), details about assessments and support plan, and information about service(s) received.
Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
If you or your loved one needs help to stay at home and to be more independent in the community, then you may benefit from the Commonwealth Home Support Programme. The Commonwealth Home Support Programme provides a comprehensive, coordinated and integrated range of basic maintenance, support and care services for older people and their carers.
Eligible older people are people aged 65 years and over and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over. From 1 July 2015 Commonwealth Home Support Programme combined together the Commonwealth Home and Community Care (HACC) Program, Planned respite from the National Respite for Carers Program (NRCP), Day Therapy Centres (DTC) Program and Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged (ACHA) Program.
Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre
A Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre can provide information on carer support and respite services to the general public, carers, service providers, general practitioners and other health professions. During business hours they can be contacted on 1800 052 222. Outside standard business hours or if you require emergency respite support, call 1800 059 059.
A Comprehensive Assessment is an assessment that considers your individual care needs. This includes restorative, physical, medical, psychological, cultural and social needs. Comprehensive Assessments are undertaken by Aged Care Assessment Teams, for aged care services under the Aged Care Act 1997. Once the assessment is completed, the outcome is then sent to a Delegate for review and approval of care types under the Aged Care Act 1997. Subsequently you may be eligible to receive support via Permanent Residential Care, Low/High Residential Respite, Home Care Package or the Transition Care Programme.
By giving your consent, you are confirming your agreement for something to happen, something to be done or information to be held and shared.
Community Visitors Scheme (CVS)
If you have a Home Care Package, The Community Visitor Scheme can match you with a volunteer who can visit you regularly either in your home or in your community. In each state and territory a coordinator from a CVS organisation can work with you to find a suitable volunteer based on your interests, hobbies and background.
Consumer Directed Care (CDC)
Consumer Directed Care recognises your rights to have control over the way in which you receive services. This gives you more flexibility when it comes to deciding on the care and support that best meet your personal needs, goals, and preferences.
Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS)
If you have incontinence, the cost of continence products may become a financial strain. However, you may be eligible to receive a payment from The Continence Aids Payment Scheme that could help pay for some of the cost of continence products. This payment is transferred directly into your bank account which means you will be able to choose the products are best for you and also when and where you purchase them from.
Counselling and support
When you are caring for a loved one, it’s not uncommon to feel isolated or overwhelmed. Counselling and support services provided by qualified professional counsellors can assist you when you need emotional support. The can also offer grief counselling, relationship guidance and help in managing your problems and concerns. These services can also assist by providing independent aged care advocacy and advice on protecting your rights as a carer.
Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Services
Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Services are available in each state and territory and offer support for people living with dementia, their carers, health professionals and care workers. If you are caring for a loved one living with dementia, their changing behavioural and psychological symptoms can be distressing and can have impact on quality of life. These are services available in each state and territory that can support you by providing help and advice.
A guardian is a person entrusted by law to make decisions on behalf of another person who may be unable to make them for themselves. The guardian can make lifestyle decisions such as where the person should live or give consent for the person to receive medical, dental or other health care services. A guardian may be a friend or family member but if this is not possible a guardianship board or tribunal may appoint one on your behalf. The rules on guardianship vary from state to state.
Home Care Packages
A Home Care Package is a subsidy provided to an approved provider (such as KinCare) by the Australian Government Home Care Packages Program to help pay for the costs of in-home aged care services to allow people to stay independent in their own home as long as possible.
There are four levels of home care packages designed to give the care needed:
- Level 1 – supports people with basic-care needs
- Level 2 – supports people with low-level care needs
- Level 3 – supports people with intermediate-care needs
- Level 4 – supports people with high-level care needs
To help make your home safer and more secure, Home Maintenance services can assist you with tasks such as changing light bulbs, emergency alarm maintenance, minor repairs like replacing tap washers, major repairs including carpentry, painting and roof repairs as well as help in the garden with lawn mowing and rubbish removal.
Aged care providers can arrange for a licensed tradesperson to assist with installation of hand rails and shower rails, easy-to-use taps, ramps and other mobility aids, safety aids such as emergency alarms and other minor renovations.
Income-tested care fee for Home Care Packages
Depending on your income, you may be required to contribute to the cost of your Home Care Package. If your income is higher than the Age Pension, the Department of Human Services will assess your income and determine if you are required to pay this fee for your Home Care Package and how much it will be.
An advocate may be able to assist you with accessing Australian Government funded aged care services or with raising concerns about the services you are receiving. An independent advocate, provided by a service such as the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) can offer independent and confidential advocacy.
My Aged Care
My Aged Care is a website (https://www.myagedcare.gov.au) and contact centre (1800 200 422) established by the Australian Government to help you navigate the aged care system by providing information to you, a family member, friend or someone you are caring for.
My Aged Care contact centre
The My Aged Care contact centre can provide information to you, a family member, friend or someone you are caring for. If you require aged care services, you can register with My Aged Care and they will be able to discuss your needs and options with you. The contact centre is open from 8:00am to 8:00pm on weekdays and 10:00am and 2:00pm on Saturdays and can be reached on 1800 200 422. The centre is closed on Sundays and public holidays.
My Aged Care Regional Assessment Service (RAS)
If you require entry level aged care services provided under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), a member of the My Aged Care Regional Assessment Service will meet with you in your home to conduct a face-to-face assessment in order evaluate your needs and determine which services you may benefit from. The Regional Assessment Service operates in all states and territories except Victoria and Western Australia. If you live in Victoria or Western Australia, there will be differences in how you are assessed. Contact My Aged Care and they will explain the process and tell you who you need to contact.
National Screening and Assessment Form (NSAF)
The National Screening and Assessment form is used by My Aged Care contact centre staff, Regional Assessment Service and Aged Care Assessment teams to collect information related to the screening and assessment processes. These processes are carried out to determine if a person is eligible to services under the Australian Government Commonwealth Home Support Program or Home Care Package. The form includes questions appropriate to each level of assessment and ensures a nationally consistent screening and assessment process.
National Home Care Queue (National Queue)
If you are eligible to receive a Home Care Package, you will be placed in the National Home Care Queue. Your place in the queue is determined by your ACAT assessment and factors such as your level of need, how long you’ve been waiting and the availability of a package at the level you need.
A registered or enrolled nurse can (depending on their level of expertise) provide help with health checks such as blood pressure checks, changing wound dressings, catheter care and help with managing your continence or medicines. These services can be provided in your home, in a clinic or at another location such as a hospital.
If you receive a pension from the Australian Government that is less than the maximum amount due to means testing, you are know as a part-pensioner.
Personal care services can provide assistance with everyday tasks such as getting in and out of bed, showering, dressing, and personal grooming, going to the toilet and moving around the house.
Power of attorney
A power of attorney is a document that allows you to appoint someone of your choice to act on your behalf. The attorney can sign or do anything that you yourself can legally do subject to any limitations or conditions stated in the document.
If you apply for or are eligible for a Home Care package, you will be assigned a priority based on the urgency with which you should be assessed and/or provided with services. Please note, if you require immediate assistance, contact KinCare to discuss the options available.
See My Aged Care Regional Assessment Service (RAS)
Reablement support can provide targeted, time-limited intervention to assist you with achieving a specific goal or outcome related to adapting to loss of function or with regaining confidence and ability to resume an activity. This may involve training in a new skill or relearning a lost skill, modification of your home environment or access to equipment or assistive technology.
If your needs or circumstances change significantly you may be re-assessed to identify any changes required to your existing support plan.
My Aged Care may provide you with referral codes that represent individual services recommended for you. You can refer to these codes when you are evaluating providers such as KinCare.
Referral for assessment
When a My Aged Care staff member wishes to request an assessment (home support or comprehensive) for a customer, they will send through a referral for assessment.
Referral for service
When either a My Aged Care staff member or assessor wish to request a service for a customer, they will send a referral known as a referral for service. These can be sent electronically, or the customer can be issued a referral code.
When you contact My Aged Care for the purpose of accessing aged care services for yourself or on behalf of someone else, you will need to provide your details so that your My Aged Care Client Record can be created.
Residential care is care provided in a residential facility or aged care home (also known as nursing homes) to people who can no longer continue to live at home. It can be either on a permanent basis or for a short stay (called ‘residential respite’).
Also known as short-term care, if you are a carer, respite care is available to give you the opportunity to take a break from your caring role. This break may be to attend to everyday activities, or it may be due to illness, work commitments, or emergencies. Respite care can be provided by formal respite services or informally by friends or family.
Residential respite (in a residential facility) can be used on a planned basis or in the case of an emergency if the person has been approved by an ACAT assessment to receive residential respite
Rights and responsibilities
If you receive aged care services at home or in an aged care home, your rights are protected in a by your resident agreement or home care agreement, the Charter of Care Recipients’ Rights and Responsibilities and by accreditation standards for service providers. If you have a concern or feel your care does not meet the standards you are entitled to, you can make a complaint with your service provider, with the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner, or with an independent aged care advocacy service.
Self-funded retiree / non-pensioner
If you do not receive any means-tested pension from the Australian Government and are funding your own retirement you are known as a self-funded retiree or non-pensioner.
You can use the service finder on the My Aged Care website to locate both Commonwealth Government subsidised and private aged care services in your location. You can also search for aged care homes and ACATs (Aged Care Assessment Team).
A service provider is an organisation that receives funding in order to provide aged care services to older people.
Social support services can help prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation by helping you maintain an active social life via home visits, help with shopping and access to recreational activities and support groups in the community.
Translating and Interpreting Service
The Translating and Interpreting Service can assist non-English speakers by providing telephone and onsite interpreters. They can also assist English speakers in communicating to non-English speaking people.
A wallet check is a method of identity verification which involves sighting two documents that identify you and and noting them on your customer record.
Wellness is a philosophy based on the premise that people generally have the desire and capacity to improve their physical, social and emotional wellbeing by emphasising prevention, optimising physical function and active participation. It focusses on supporting an individual’s capacity to continue with their daily activities, social interaction and community connection.