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Aged care jargon & concepts explained

Aged care is one of those industries that most of us only deal with once or twice in our lives.

It's also an industry that is heavily regulated by Government, and is part of the broader, complex health system.

So no wonder many families are mystified by the terms thrown at them by health professionals and aged care operators.

In the interests of helping you through the process, I've put together a 90 second primer on jargon and key concepts to do with aged care placement:

Aged Care Assessment Team / Service (ACAT/ASAS) You or your loved one will need to get an aged care assessment prior to entering a nursing home. This is a medical assessment done by a clinician from an Aged Care Assessment Service (VIC/WA), or Aged Care Assessment Team (all other States). It's also an absolute requirement before the Government will fund any sort of aged care.

Respite This is a short term stay in an aged care facility. The Australian Government subsidises up to 63 days of respite per year for an elderly person who has an aged care assessment. A respite stay is also a good way for a potential resident to get to know a facility.

RAD / Bond Aged care fees are split into two types - care fees and accommodation fees. An accommodation fee will usually be expressed in the form of a Refundable Accommodation Deposit. This is what used to be known as the aged care bond. Its usually in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The RAD is normally fully refunded to a family upon exit.

DAP This is the Daily Accommodation Payment. It is the accommodation fee (see RAD above) expressed as a daily fee, not as a lump sum. Families can pay a DAP on a monthly basis, or have it deducted from RAD (bond) on an ongoing basis.

Income & Assets Assessment This is a Centrelink / DVA form that must be filled in prior to entering aged care. It is used by the Australian Government to work out the Means Tested Care Fee that a resident may have to pay. It is also used to assess whether a resident will be liable to pay an accommodation fee (see RAD above).

If your're in doubt about what to do regarding aged care, or are just plain confused, feel free to utilise our 100% free aged care navigator service called Care Decisions. You can do that by calling 1300 775 870.

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