As you get older – and for those living with dementia, as the symptoms of dementia progress – it may become difficult to manage everyday tasks on your own. You may require help with cleaning, health issues, or moving around.
Aged care is the support provided to older people who need help in their own home or can no longer live at home.
This can help you stay connected to your community, take care of your health and safety and remain independent.
There are two key pathways for aged care in Australia:
Please see the steps below to access government subsidised home care.
The government directs everyone to begin their search for aged care through its national contact centre and website – both are called My Aged Care (MAC). Here you can access the available government-funded services.
Many aged care services located in the Brisbane North and Moreton Bay regions require a referral from MAC before you can use the service.
The MAC staff will ask you about your situation and needs.
If you're acting on someone's behalf, MAC will need to know you have their permission to proceed. Registration also requires a Medicare number.
Depending on your initial discussion with MAC and your eligibility, the MAC staff may organise a free assessment in your or the person's home or in hospital, if necessary.
Aged care assessments involve screening and checks on how you are managing day-to-day chores such as showering, cooking, shopping and cleaning. You will be asked about your general health and what kind of help or care you feel you need.
You will receive a call from an assessment team to schedule an appointment for an assessor to visit you at home.
Before your assessment, it might be helpful to read these guides.
An easy-to-read guide on how to access the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
An assessor will visit your home or call you on the day of your scheduled appointment to discuss your current needs and goals.
A family member or support person is welcome to attend the assessment. The assessor may ask questions about any memory problems, health concerns, worries about home and personal safety and coping with daily tasks at home.
What to have ready on assessment day:
Depending on the assessment outcome, you or the person may now be eligible to receive services.
If you or the person is eligible for care services, the assessment teams will work with you to create a support plan, select service providers and send referrals to care providers.
When you choose a service provider, give them the referral code/s you received from the assessor so they can start organising care for you.
When picking the best provider for you, there are a few things to keep in mind. Each organisation will offer services in a unique way and may charge different fees. Before making a decision, consider your own preferences, availabilities of services and your needs, budget and location.
If you've been assessed to receive a home care package, you will be sent a letter advising whether you've been assigned a package to meet your needs. There may be a wait to receive this package.
You are expected to contribute to the cost of your aged care if you can afford it. The amount you will pay for aged care will vary depending on the type of care you are eligible for and the provider you choose.
You can also use the MAC provider portal or the information on this website to help you find a service you would like to use.
The cost of aged care services varies from person to person. It's determined by the type of care you're entitled to, the aged care provider you pick and your financial position. While the Australian Government may contribute to the cost of your treatment, you will also be asked to contribute if you can afford it.
We recommend that you consult with a financial professional who can help you navigate the decisions involved in the transition into aged care and any of the costs involved.
A resource outlining aged care costs, where you can use the simple cost estimate feature.
A worksheet about residential aged care service costs that you can print and fill in with a financial advisor.
You can change your MAC services package if your situation changes.
This might include changing when your services are delivered, the type of care you receive and your service provider (the organisation who delivers your services).
You can do this by accessing you MAC online account or speaking directly to your provider.
Many companies and organisations offer fee-for-service home care. You don't need an assessment and you can contact organisations directly to find out what care they provide. You choose which services you want to purchase and you're responsible for paying the full costs.
This option is ideal if you:
*Fees, staff expertise and the quality of care to meet your needs may vary, so we recommend you research to make sure you get the service you want.
If you're struggling, there are services to help you navigate aged care services and people who can advocate on your behalf.
There are a number of organisations that can help you navigate the aged care system at no cost.
Most service providers who deliver aged care services will also help you navigate the system.
There are also paid private navigators available to help with care coordination.
An organisation providing free information about aged care services to help you navigate your journey. In some cases, intensive support navigators can offer one-on-one assistance.
A free and independent service providing reliable information to help you navigate the system in selected locations.
This short video gives a comprehensive overview of the MAC journey to service providers and assessors.
Navigate aged care in Australia
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia, their diversity, histories and knowledge and their continuing connections to land, waterways and culture. We pay our respect to all Australian Indigenous Peoples and their cultures, and to Elders of past, present and future generations.
We would like to express our gratitude to all the healthy ageing advocates, including people living with dementia, older people, families, carers and health professionals, who contributed to the development of this portal. Thank you for sharing your stories and transferring your knowledge to make this portal purposeful and meaningful to support people in the North Brisbane and Moreton Bay region.