Aged Care - 6 steps

Step 1 – Plan ahead

We are often reluctant to think about a potential move into care. This means we fail to plan and ignore the warning signs until a crisis emerges. At this point, the time available to evaluate options is limited and decisions may be rushed. Also, our families may start to argue and conflicts arise.

Start with a family meeting to make shared decisions. Use this meeting to:

Frank and open discussion is the first step to an effective decision-making process.

Step 2 – Assessing options

Aged care help can be accessed in your home or in a residential service. To help you decide which option is best, arrange a free assessment by an Aged Care Assessment Team/Service (ACAT/ACAS).
You will need to have ACAT/ACAS approval before you can access a government subsidised home care package or residential care.

You can book an appointment directly with ACAT/ACAS on 1800 200 422. Further information is available at

Step 3 – Searching for services

You can search for services by

Step 4 – Understanding the fee structure

What you will pay for residential care is divided into contributions towards accommodation, care and additional services:

Step 5 – Structuring finances

Assess or get advice on:

Step 6 – Estate Planning

Anytime your circumstances change it is important to consider the impact this has on your estate plans.

This includes when you move into aged care. You should speak to your solicitor about the ability to review and redraft your will to reflect your wishes.

As dementia is a leading factor behind the need for care services, when the time comes it is likely that the client will need to delegate financial decisions to someone else. This is easier if an enduring power of attorney (and guardianship) is in place. So it is important to have the appropriate powers in place before a person has lost legal capacity as once capacity has been lost, it will be too late to set up the powers and a trip to the Guardianship Tribunal will be needed.