If you need some help at home or are considering moving into an aged care home, you will need a free assessment by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT, or ACAS in Victoria). A member of an ACAT will talk to you about your current situation and work out if you are eligible to receive government-subsidised aged care services.
You will need an ACAT assessment and approval if you want to access aged care services through a Home Care Package; respite care in an aged care home or move permanently into an aged care home.
What Happens at an ACAT Assessment?
A member of your local ACAT, usually a nurse, social worker or other health care professional will make a time to come to your home (or the hospital, if you’re currently in hospital) and talk to you about how you’re managing in your day-to-day life. You may like to ask a family member, friend or carer to be with you during the assessment for extra support.
The ACAT member may ask your permission to talk to your doctor to discuss your medical history before they meet with you. If you agree, your consent will be recorded by the ACAT member.
The following steps briefly outline what you can expect to happen at an ACAT assessment.
The ACAT member will:
• Ask your permission to conduct the assessment.
• Ask you if you wish to apply for approval to receive certain aged care services – they will explain these service options to you and they will ask you to sign an application form.
• Ask you questions about your day-to-day living activities and if you need help with all or some of them – they’ll also talk to you about your general state of health and specific health conditions; this will help them work out how much and what type of help you need.
• Talk to you about whether they think you need more support so you can keep living in your own home, or if they think you might be better supported in an aged care home.
• Give you information about all of the services that may be available in your local area.
What Happens After the Assessment?
• After the assessment, the ACAT will write to you to let you know the outcome of your assessment. The letter will specify the services you are approved to receive, as well as the reasons why. You will also receive other information on your assessment.
• You should keep a copy of these documents as it will make it easier for service providers to confirm that you are eligible to receive government-subsidised aged care services.
• If you are not happy with your assessment outcome, the letter will also explain how to ask for a review of the ACAT decision.
You can make contact with an Aged Care Assessment Team either directly, by a family member or your GP. Alternatively contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or use the ACAT finder on the My Aged Care website.