Signpost Aged Care Services Hawthorn VIC 3122

Looking to find Signpost ACS in Hawthorn VIC?

Use the Google Map above, share it to your mobile phone and you won’t get lost when traveling to our Signpost consultants.

What areas do we offer aged care advice to in Australia?

Obviously we currently have customers from the suburbs listed at the bottom of our main page.

Those suburbs in Victoria are: Hawthorn, Hawthorn East, Balwyn, North Balwyn, Mont Albert, Toorak, Melbourne, Camberwell, Ashburton, Malvern, Malvern East, St Kilda, Elwood, Brighton, Kew, Kew East.

If you read our testimonial page you will see that we have been successful assisting people from other states in Australia and also from overseas.

Please contact us on 1800 744 676 to book an appointment with one of our consultants and ask that burning question about aged care in Australia and find out how we can assist you.

Are you too busy throughout the day to call us? Perhaps you would like to make use of the videos on the Signpost Aged Care Services YouTube channel, such as this video on the difference between retirement villages and nursing homes.

Best wishes and we hope this information will be of assistance to you.

Margaret Harrison and Sara Cook

Can I change nursing homes?

An aged care residential facility is not a prison! If you or your loved on his unhappy where they are, they can always move.  And it is not that hard to move.

The first thing  to do is to check any Agreement that the resident has signed in relation to his or her accommodation at the facility.  There will usually be a clause setting out how much notice is required before a person can leave and it is usually around 7 days.

Then, you can start looking at alternatives – you can do an internet search to see what else is available in the chosen area or go to the ‘Find a Service’ tab on website which is the official government website listing aged care residential facilities.  Once you have narrowed down the options to facilities you think might suit, call the facility and see if they have any vacancies or a short waiting list. If they do, we recommend taking a tour of the facility.  If possible, taking the resident with you so that can see whether or not they they feel they might like it better than their current home.

Then it is a matter of negotiating the terms with the new facility – they may or may not be willing to match the terms of the current home so you might need to work out whether and how any difference can be afforded.

If you need help with moving aged care facilities, call us now on 1800 744 676.

Until next time,

Sara and Margaret.


A view on retirement villages

An independent view on retirement villages

Over the past few weeks, articles about retirement villages have received a lot of press and most of it was unfavourable.  As independent advisers, we have been asked on numerous occasions whether we think the articles have been fair.  So here is what we think.

Social isolation is the single biggest issue for our ageing population.   Retirement villages go a long way towards solving that issue for its residents.  The residents are part of a community, they probably get some supports (like general maintenance of the common areas and some social activities) and they feel safe.  The residents are also able to continue to live independently.  These things are priceless and can make for a happy old age.

Independent living

Retirement villages are usually independent living, so stories about how a person was left in their unit after a medical event and not found for several days can happen because the resident chose to remain independent.  Whilst many retirement villages are equipped with emergency all buttons, sometimes things happen which mean that button cannot be activated.  Some retirement villages are using technology to detect these events without the need to activate a call button.

It does become confusing because some retirement villages offer care services which the resident generally has to agree to and pay for additionally.  In that case, if the resident had agreed to those care services and they had not been delivered,  it would wrong for a person to be left undetected for a period of time.

Retirement Villages can be very expensive

Retirement village agreements are contract based so the residents get what the contract says they will get and the resident pays what the contract says they will pay.  Most retirement village contracts do require payment of a deferred management fee and other costs when the resident leaves and it is not unusual in our experience for a resident to pay around 40% to 50% of the amount the the unit sells for and often the resident is paying outgoings and monthly fees for quite a while after they have left the village.  In our experience, retirement village units are generally less expensive to acquire than a similar freehold property in the same geographic location but, in our experience, do not appreciate as rapidly as other property.  There is no doubt they are not a sound financial investment.   They are a lifestyle investment.

Understand what you are buying

In terms of the resident entitlements, residents should look closely at the agreement (and get legal advice) about what exactly they are entitled to under the contract.  The contract may specify social events or services and it is important to understand what exactly the village is agreeing to provide.  The resident is not entitled to anything other than what is in the agreement (so, for example, if the resident is told there are free drinks for residents every Friday night, that might not be in the contract and, if it does say that in the contract, there is probably another clause that says that can change). Contracts will not say you will have a fabulous time in our village because of course that cannot be guaranteed. As residents usually go to a village for the community, it is really important that potential residents ensure they will fit in with the community before they move in.  It will not work if everyone else in the village speaks Swahili and you do not.  Most villages will give you an opportunity to meet other residents before signing up and we think that is one of the most important things to do before committing.  This can be a risk if the unit is being sold off the plan.

So, in summary, living in a retirement village can be great and might be the right choice for you.  They are expensive and you need to understand what you are getting and what you will be paying.  You should get legal advice before you sign the contract.  If you would like expert legal advice, call us on 1800 744 676.

Until next time

Sara and Margaret


Don’t understand aged care home care packages?

Here is some help to understand aged care home care packages.

There are 5 steps to complete before you start using a home care package:

  1. Be assessed by Aged Care Assessment Service/Team (ACAS/ACAT) or a Regional Assessment Service (RAS)  for eligibility for a home care package.  This assessment is done on behalf of the Federal Government (usually by a local hospital or council) and it is free.  The assessor comes to your home.  To book an assessment, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
  2. Once you have been assessed as eligible, you will receive a letter from My Aged Care advising that you have been assessed as eligible.  This does not mean that you can access services yet.  It just means that you have been approved.  You need to wait until step 3 before you can do anything further.
  3. You will receive a further letter from My Aged Care advising you that a package has been allocated to you.  This letter has a unique referral code. It can take months for this letter to arrive – especially if the approved package is a level 3 or 4 package. Once you have the unique code, you can now start finding a provider who can supply services to you under the package.
  4. You need to call around to providers to find one who will best meet your needs.  What you get from a package is negotiable.  Some providers might give you a lot more for your package than another so it is important that you shop around.  You should have a list of the things that you want from your package and talk to several providers.  You can find a list of providers on at the ‘Find a Service’ tab.
  5. You will need to reach an agreement with the provider – they will usually ask you to sign an agreement.  Once that is signed, you are ready to go!!!  If you are not happy with the provider and cannot resolve your complaints with them, you can move your package to another provider.

If you don’t have the time to shop around and find the best provider, we can do it for you.  If you need help, call us on 1800 744 676.

Until next time

Sara and Margaret

An update on aged care home care packages

Changes to the aged care home care package system

how to get the best from your home care package

On 27 February 2017, significant changes were made to home care packages for the aged in an effort to make packages more market driven and consumer focused. The most important change is that consumers now own their own packages, the package can be moved if the consumer relocates or is unhappy with a provider and a consumer can negotiate with providers to get what they want for the best price.

Update from the Department of Health on home care packages

The Department of Health administers the home care package system. In late March 2017, the department advised that it had released over 14,000 home care packages in March 2017 with the majority to consumers who had never previously held a home care package. The release also assigned packages to consumers who were currently receiving home care but were awaiting a package at their approved level.

The department also advised that it will now move to a more regular release schedule, with packages likely to be released weekly.

Information is not yet available on expected wait times or position in the queue. This is because the system is new and the department needs time to analyse the take up of home care packages, and ensure that meaningful information is available. The department has advised that data on wait times should be published in the second half of this year.

All clients who receive a package will receive a letter with a unique referral code. Consumers can then can either take their referral code to their chosen provider or ask the contact centre to send an electronic referral on their behalf. Consumers are encouraged to research and negotiate with providers using the service finders so they can get the most out of their package. Signpost can do that for you. Just call us on 1800 744 676 and ask about our home care package service.

Until next time

Margaret and Sara