Must-know aged care terms

The topic of aged care can be a confusing one, but this handy list of must-know terms will help you to navigate the process more easily.

ACAT Assessment
An assessment carried out by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) to evaluate the care needs of an older person. Approval is then provided to access government subsidised care, such as home care packages or residential care.

Accommodation bond
An accommodation bond is payable by residents who moved into an aged care service with low-level care needs or moved to an extra-service place with high-care needs before 1 July 2014. An accommodation bond pays for a resident’s accommodation and is refundable to the resident or their estate when they leave the aged care service.

Accommodation charge
An accommodation charge is payable by residents who moved into a high-care aged care service before 1 July 2014. This is a daily amount payable by residents to cover their accommodation costs and is in addition to daily care fees.

Additional service fee (ASF)
This fee is charged by residential care providers for additional services such as newspapers, wine, Foxtel, etc. Residents may be able to opt out of these fees and choose what they pay for. 

Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS)
Only in Victoria, other states and territories have Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACAT). See ACAT for more details

Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT)
Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs) are teams of medical and allied health professionals, such as doctors, nurses, social workers and occupational therapists. Through a series of questions the ACAT determines the level of care and services required by the affected person.

Ageing in place
Care services are provided to enable as person to remain at home as they age. In some cases high level care can be provided at a low level facility so the client doesn’t have to move.

Assisted and supported living
Offering the same services as a Commonwealth funded residential aged care service but are privately funded (e.g. commonly called a retirement village). These services are subject to state-based legislation and an ACAT/ACAS assessment is not required.

Basic daily care fee (BDF)
This fee is payable by all aged care residents and is used tp pay for a person’s day-to-day living costs, such as meals, cleanin, laundry, heating and cooling.

Booked respite program
Offered by facilities which have at least one pre-bookable bed available for respite care.

Consumer Directed Care Packages (CDC)
Offers individuals a greater say in the care they receive, how it is delivered and by whom it is delivered.

Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
This is an entry-level home help program for older people who need some assistance with daily living tasks to enable them to continue to live independently. It was previously called the Home and Community Care Program.

Daily accommodation contribution (DAC)
A daily amount that can be paid by permanent residents towards their cost of accommodation. The DAP is not payable by residents who are low-means (supported). See daily accommodation contribution (DAC) for more details of payments made by supported persons. 

Domestic assistance
Help with everyday household tasks such as dishwashing, house cleaning, clothes washing, shopping and paying bills.

Extra service fee (ESF)
The ESF is charged by residential care services that have been approved as ‘extra-service’ for additional services, such as newspapers, wine, Foxtel, etc, a resident can’t opt out of these fees as they are attached to the room. 

Home Care Packages (HCP) Levels one to four
The Australian Government funds each of the four levels of care packages. The packages are planned and coordinated individually to help older people remain in their own homes. Level one is for those with basic care needs. Level two is for those with low care needs. Level three is for those with intermediate care needs. Level four is for those with high care needs.

Non-secure dementia care
Offered by resdiential service providers which provide care for people with dementia or similar behavioural related conditions, but do not have a fully secure dementia care unit or wing.

NRCP funded service
Respite care provided by National Respite for Carers Program, specifically for relatives and friends who care for people at home who can no longer care for themselves due to disability or frailty.

Palliative care program
The palliative care program provides pain relief, management of symptoms, counselling and support to ensure the best possible quality of life for the resident.

Refundable accommodation contribution (RAC)
The RAC is a lump sum amount that can be paid by a low-means resident towards the cost of their accommodation. 

Refundable accommodation deposit (RAD)
The RAD is a lump sum amount that can be paid for accommodation in a residential care service. It is the advertised price on the MyAgedCare website. 

Resident agreement
A resident agreement is a legal agreement between a resident and the aged care provider and sets out rights and obligations of both the resident and the aged care provider. The agreement should include information about the type of care provided, the circumstances in which the resident may be asked to leave the home, the amount of accommodation payable, daily fees and, if entering an extra service home, the extra services provided and associated costs.

Residential aged care
Residential aged care is for older people who can no longer live safely and securely at home. Reasons can include illness, disability, bereavement, an emergency, the needs of their carer, family or friends, or because it is no longer possible to manage at home without help.

Respite care
Offers cover for carers who need a break from their caring responsibilities. Respite can be arranged for planned breaks, regular weekly breaks, short holidays or emergencies and can be provided within the person’s home, in a day care centre or in a residential care facility.

Secure dementia care
These facilities have a fully secure dementia care unit or wing exclusively and specifically for people with dementia or similar behavioural related conditions.

Supported living
Independent units, apartments or bedsits within a community where support services are provided. These support services may be meals, cleaning, cooking, personal care or other assistance as required. 

Supported residential facility 
A supported residential facility may offer a similar service to that of a Commonwealth funded high or low level care facility but without the funding support. 

Supported residential services
An SRS may offer a similar service to that of a Commonwealth funded residential aged care service but are regulated and funded by state government (only in SA and Victoria).

Transitional care
Transitional care provides short term support for older people after a hospital stay and can be delivered in either a residential or community setting. It is designed to optimise independence of older people to enable them to return home rather than entering residential care.

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