Services Australia appoints aged care specialist officers

Services Australia general manager Hank Jongen details a new service that aims to simplify the sometimes complex area of aged care.


As you age, you may need help with everyday tasks to enable you to stay at home, or need a level of support and care offered in an aged care home.

Talking about aged care can be difficult. It’s a sensitive topic and you may be asked to make big decisions about your or a loved one’s care, home and finances. You’re likely to have a lot of questions and may not be sure where to start.

My Aged Care is a great place to access government-funded aged care services. The website has lots of information and tools to help keep your home liveable, keep you well and being social, or help you with residential care.

But we also know that sometimes people want to sit down and talk with someone about their options. That’s why Services Australia has introduced  more than 70 Aged Care Specialist Officers (ACSOs) across the country. There will be 80 ACSOs by the end of the year.

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ACSOs are aged care experts. They provide a free and confidential face-to-face service that can help with navigating the aged care system and make that journey easier. They can discuss your specific situation and answer any questions you may have.

They can talk to you about:

  • the different types of aged care
  • your eligibility for My Aged Care
  • the process of accessing aged care services
  • aged care costs and how much you might pay.

They can also register you for My Aged Care, determine the level of services needed and refer you for an assessment, whether that’s for home-based or residential care.

You’re welcome to bring a family member or loved one with you to the interview. If you like, the ACSO can also help you appoint them as your representative with My Aged Care, so they can deal with them directly on your behalf.

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You can go to our website,, to find out if there is an ACSO located near you. If you’d like to make an appointment, please call us on 1800 227 475.

If there isn’t an Aged Care Specialist Officer in your area, keep in mind that staff at all our service centres can still help. They can give general information about My Aged Care and can connect you to them online or on the phone.

Staff can give you information on the different types of care, how to access aged care and information about basic fees. They can also help you register for My Aged Care and set up an online account or connect you through to the My Aged Care contact centre.

Hank Jongen is general manager, Services Australia.

Do you find at-home and residential aged care services complex? Did you know about the specialist officers at Services Australia? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?


  1. “…If you’d like to make an appointment, please call us…”
    Why don’t services for older people allow for the fact that many have a hearing defect that makes phone calls difficult, and give email addresses as well as phone numbers?
    “…Hearing loss is a widespread disability amongst older people.
    Seventy-three percent of Australians aged over 70 have a mild to severe hearing loss. This percentage rises as age increases. As many as 85% of people in ‘nursing homes’ are typically hearing impaired…”

    • Very good point. I am hearing impaired being totally deaf in one ear. I often find I can’t understand what is being said on a phone because there are no visual cues to assist. One of my friends has almost no hearing and takes a pen and paper everywhere she goes so that people can write down what they want to say. There are talk-to-text apps available, but they aren’t suitable for everyone or for all occasions. Background noise or several people talking at once can make them pretty ineffective. It can be a bit difficult to try and stop a roomful of people talking for long enough to hear even a single sentence sometimes, and people can be impatient with the hearing impaired. Probably not intentionally, but it’s not always easy to see that someone has difficulty hearing.

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