Website update! Support and services for dementia can still be found on this website.
It has recently been updated to include services and resources to support healthy ageing.

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Navigating aged care in Australia

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.

Services include:

  • help at home
  • social support
  • personal care
  • transport
  • health care
  • residential aged care.

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:

  • government subsidised
  • private (fee-for-service).

Please see the steps below to access government subsidised home care.

Step 1: Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422

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.

My Aged Care Journey

A guide of the steps for receiving Australian government subsidised aged care services at home.

Step 2. Your assessment

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.

Guide to Commonwealth Home Support Programme services

An easy-to-read guide on how to access the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

What is a Home Care Package?

A webpage by My Aged Care explaining what Home Care Packages are and how you can use them.

Step 3. Preparing for your or your loved one's assessment

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:

  • two forms of ID (e.g. Medicare card, drivers licence, DVA card, pension card, passport)
  • any referral forms (e.g. GP referral)
  • details of previous services
  • list of medications
  • list of health conditions.

Step 4. Assessment outcome

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.

Step 5. Choosing a provider

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.

Aged care service provider search tool

A search tool you can use to find MAC services that are available in your area.

Help at home

A list of local community organisations in your region that can support you at home.

Costs for aged care

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.

Understanding costs for aged care services

A resource outlining aged care costs, where you can use the simple cost estimate feature.

Common questions to ask your financial advisor about aged care services

A worksheet about residential aged care service costs that you can print and fill in with a financial advisor.

Step 6. Managing your package

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.

Manage My Aged Care services

Information that provides advice and directs you to where you can view your My Aged Care account and manage your services.

Private self-funded home care services

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:

  • need home care services immediately
  • are looking to specifically tailor your care to meet the exact services you need
  • are waiting for government funding, but need care services while you wait
  • are under the age of 65 and not eligible for government funding through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) or the Queensland Community Support Scheme (QCSS).

*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.

Help at home

A list of local community organisations in your region that can support you at home.

Help navigating aged care services

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.

Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN)

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.

Council on the Ageing (COTA)

A free and independent service providing reliable information to help you navigate the system in selected locations.

Aged care services support

A site providing easy access to My Aged Care brochures, forms, checklists and other documents.

Health professional services

Service navigation for health professionals

Information for health professionals about navigating the aged care system. Health workers act as an important link for patients in finding aged care to meet their needs.

A client's experience with MAC

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.