Understanding the costs related to your aged care.
How much you pay for aged care services depends on three main factors; the type of help you require, the provider you choose, and your financial situation.It’s important to do your homework before you choose a provider to ensure you get the aged care you need – at a price you can afford.
By understanding how the various fees, costs and contributions affect each other, you can also avoid unexpected bills. There are a number of tools to help you calculate the cost of your aged care, including My Aged Care’s fee estimator tool.
Explore the different aged care costs topics below.
Most people retain the ability to make decisions about all aspects of their life until they die. However, it’s a good idea to think about what you would like to happen if, for some reason, you were unable to communicate your preferences or make decisions.
It’s important to note that only in rare cases will people require support with all their decisions. For example, someone may not have the capacity to understand the extent of, and manage, their assets but they will be able to make decisions about where they want to live and who they wish to spend time with. People should be supported to make their own decisions wherever possible.
OPAN received almost 1400 calls about abuse in the six months to March 2023. We know that’s just the tip of the iceberg because, of the almost one in six (14.8 per cent) older people who reported experiencing abuse in the National Elder Abuse Prevalence Study, only one-third had sought help.
Abuse can be psychological, emotional, physical, sexual, financial or due to neglect. Older people keep it secret because they feel ashamed – in nearly one in five cases, the abuse is committed by adult children – or because they fear negative repercussions. If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Elder Abuse helpline on 1800 353 374.
What to do when your aged care isn’t up to scratch.
If problems with your aged care services are affecting your health and wellbeing, speaking up can help. Most service providers want to know what they can do better. Speaking up will help make the service better for you and others too. And there are simple steps you can take to raise a concern or make an effective complaint. If you would like additional support, OPAN advocates are here to help.
Australian government-funded aged care is available to people aged 65 or older. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people become eligible at 50.
Aged care is not always residential care. Services range from basic supports to help people stay at home, through to full-time residential care. To access any government-funded aged care service, you need to contact My Aged Care. Whether you need short-term help to manage an unexpected health issue or round-the-clock care, there is an option to suit your needs.
Explore the different types of aged care options below.
To self-advocate means to speak up for yourself about your rights, your needs, and what is important to you. To speak up for yourself and others about aged care services, you need to know what you can reasonably expect from those who deliver them. Information about your rights – and the rules and regulations that apply to service providers – is key. Professional aged care advocates frequently use tools like the Charter of Aged Care Rights and the Aged Care Quality Standards to resolve problems. You can, too. When something is not right, or not working for you, it’s okay to speak up.
Order a print booklet of the Self-advocacy toolkit.
Self-advocacy – or speaking up – is something you have to learn how to do. It’s a bit like learning a new language. You need to identify what services you need but also how they are going to be delivered to you in the form you need. You have to work within the system. To do that, you have to be informed. That’s where the Self-advocacy toolkit comes in. It equips you with the skills, information and resources you need to speak up for better aged care.
What is self-advocacy?
‘Self-advocacy – or speaking up – puts you in the driver’s seat. It’s about maintaining your own power. The power you have had all your life.’ Gwenda Darling, a member of OPAN’s National Older Persons Reference Group, shares her tips for getting the services you need to age well.