Last Updated 21 January 2017
There are many changes happening in the Australian aged care system. Support is becoming more tailored to the needs of individual service users, and more service users are having to contribute to the costs of their support, if they can afford it.
This page contains some general information about aged care services and where to find out more. It is aimed at family members and friends caring for a person aged 65 years and over.
The Australian Government has established My Aged Care as a ‘one stop shop’ for information on aged care services in Australia. For more specific information about aged care services and what may be available for the person you care for, contact My Aged Care using the information below:
My Aged Care
1800 200 422 (8am-8pm Mon-Fri; 10am-2pm Sat)
How to access aged care services
The Australian Aged Care System fact sheets (Multicultural Access Project Network)
Carers NSW Carer Support Officers can also discuss your caring situation and recommend services for you and the person you care for. You can contact a Carer Support Officer using the information below:
Carers NSW Carer Line
1800 242 636
As the person you care for grows older, they may need more help with day-to-day tasks or health care. There are two different programmes that support older people to continue living at home:
If you are caring for someone who is nearing the end of their life, there are many different types of aged care services that can give you the extra support at home that you may need during this difficult time. Examples include nursing care, help around the house and counselling.
For more information how to access end of life care services call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 (8am-8pm Mon-Fri; 10am-2pm Sat) or visit http://www.myagedcare.gov.au/help-home/end-life-care-home.
Transition care is for older people who have been in hospital and need support to recover and make a decision about the best place to live in the longer term. The Transitional Aged Care Program offers 6-12 weeks of therapy provided at home or in another facility. The person you care for will need to be assessed and approved as eligible by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) while they are still in hospital.
For more information on transition care, contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 (8am-8pm Mon-Fri; 10am-2pm Sat) or at www.myagedcare.gov.au.
If the needs of the person you care for can no longer be met through home care services, residential aged care may be worth considering. Residential aged care facilities (often called ‘aged care homes’) offer both short stay support (called ‘residential respite’) and longer term or permanent support. Staff can help the person you care for with day-to-day tasks (e.g. cleaning, cooking, laundry), personal care (e.g. dressing, grooming, going to the toilet) and 24-hour nursing care (e.g. wound care, catheter care).
For more information how to access residential aged care call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 (8am-8pm Mon-Fri; 10am-2pm Sat) or visit www.myagedcare.gov.au.
The following resource also provides further information on residential aged care:
Five steps to entry into an aged care home
You can order a hard copy by calling the Carer Line on 1800 242 636 or the Department of Social Services National Mailing and Marketing team on 1300 131 616.
Respite care (also known as ‘short-term care’) is a form of support for you and the person you care for. It gives you the opportunity to take a break from the caring role while the person you care for continues to receive the support they need. Respite care may be given informally by family, friends or neighbours, or by formal respite services.
Respite can help carers to continue caring for longer by giving them time to attend to their own health and wellbeing, spend time with other family members and friends and do tasks they don’t have time for when they are caring.
Respite care can be arranged for a few hours, a few days or even for longer periods, depending on your needs, the needs of the person you care for, your eligibility and what services are available in your area. It can happen in the home of the person you care for or at facilities such as an overnight respite cottage, a day centre or residential care facility.
For more information about respite, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 (8am-8pm Mon-Fri; 10am-2pm Sat) or visit www.myagedcare.gov.au.
If you or the person you care for have a problem with aged care services, it is important that you talk with your aged care service provider first. Most of the time, issues can be addressed and resolved by the provider directly. However, if your concerns and complaints cannot be resolved there are services available to help.
The Seniors Rights Service NSW is an advocacy service for people living in aged care homes or receiving home care support in NSW. They offer free and confidential advice and information to aged care service users and their families and carers about their rights and responsibilities when accessing aged care services.
Seniors Rights Service NSW
1800 424 079 (9am-4:30pm, Mon-Fri)
From 1 January 2016, the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner provides a free service for anyone to raise their concerns about the quality of care or services being delivered to people receiving aged care services funded by the Australian Government, including services provided in the home.
1800 550 552 (9am-5pm, Mon-Fri)
Carers NSW Policy Team
(02) 9280 4744
Carers NSW acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land, Elders past and present and all Aboriginal people.