Tag: aged care help

I think it’s time mum or dad got some help

Welcome to 2017.  Many of us will have seen our parents over the summer break and noticed that things don’t seem to be going that well at home for them any more.  Maybe it is time to start looking for help.

Your parents may have been coping on their own for many years, but you might have noticed  some things recently that make you worry. Their increasing forgetfulness, the state of their home or their frailty may be starting to worry you.  If any of this sounds familiar, it’s time to start thinking and talking about aged care.

This is a big decision in your mum or dad’s life, so it’s important you start talking to them about their options as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may find you need to make the decision in a rush after an adverse health event and that means they will probably have to compromise.

Your parents may be able to cope better with help at home and that can often be enough to give the family peace of mind and help parents come to terms with getting older and needing help.  They might be considering moving into a smaller home and are thinking of a retirement village or an aged care facility.

The transition to aged care isn’t straightforward.  Understanding the options and knowing where to start is often confusing and difficult.

That’s where Signpost comes in.  We can help you understand the options so you can make an informed choice and we can manage the whole transition for you including helping you to select the best provider,  negotiating the terms with the provider and doing the paperwork.

So if you’re contemplating aged care for a loved one and don’t know where to start – don’t delay. Call us today on 1800 744 676 for an obligation-free chat on how we can assist you and your family to get the best aged care outcome.


Until next time,

Sara and Margaret



Organising a break for carers

Carers need a break

Carers provide countless hours of care and support for our ageing population.  Sometimes they need a break.  This can be organised through respite care.

Respite options

There are different types of respite which are outlined below:
1. In Home Respite, this is when a carer comes in to your home so the carer can get a break for a few hours or the carer can take the person requiring respite out for a while. This type of care can be delivered during the day or overnight.
2. Centre Day Based Respite. This respite takes place at a day centre or club. It offers activities and outings and usually run between 10am – 3pm. Some of these centres offer a pick up and drop off service as well.
3. Residential Respite Care. This is for individuals who need help every day and therefore enter in to a aged care residential facility or a supported residential service for a short stay. This can be planned for a rest break or the carer may be going on a holiday.

Residential Respite Care can be paid for privately (cost varies from facility to facility) or through subsidised services.  It can cost as little as about $50 per day. In order to have access to a subsidised bed care recipient must have an ACAS assessment approving respite. ACAS is a free service and an assessment can be organised by calling MyAgedCare on 1800 200 422.

Residential Respite Care that is accessed through an ACAS entitles individuals to up to 63 days respite per financial year, most aged care residential facilities require respite to be taken in 2 week blocks.

Not all aged care facilities have respite beds so plan ahead and make a booking.

Help in a emergency

Don’t forget there is also access to emergency respite care which can be organised by contacting your local Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222 during business hours (Monday to Friday, 8.30am–5.00pm) or 1800 059 059 outside business hours.

If you need help organising a break, call us on 1800 744 676 and we can help.

Until next time

Margaret and Sara


Introducing Carer Gateway – the new Australian Government funded service to support carers

Australia’s 2.7 million carers now have access to a new service to support them in their caring roles. An initiative of the Australian Government, Carer Gateway provides information about the services and support available for people who care for someone with a disability, chronic illness, dementia, mental illness, or who are frail due to age.

Carer Gateway will provide information for carers online and by phone:

Telephone: Carers can call 1800 422 737 from Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm for information about services and support available.

Website: A range of information including practical advice on how to care, details about financial and respite support, and how to adjust when caring ends, can be accessed at www.carergateway.gov.au

Service finder: Carer Gateway website has an interactive service finder to help carers identify local services, including Commonwealth-funded organisations delivering carer support services.

Carer Gateway website also has information for different types of carers including young carers, older carers, working carers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers, and culturally and linguistically diverse carers.

This new service does not affect how carers currently access their existing support services.

For more information about Carer Gateway, visit www.carergateway.gov.au.

If you are a carer and need someone to help you navigate the best care option, contact us at info@signpostlms.com.au or call 1800 744 676

What look for when choosing an aged care facility

Aged Care Facility | 10 Point Checklist

It is a stressful time making the decision to move in to an aged care facility, whether it is for yourself or a loved one. Once you have a list of facilities you think may suit and are in the right location, the question arises: what do I look for when I visit the aged care facility?

The top ten things to be mindful of when doing a tour of a facility are:
1. Are you warmly welcomed by staff?
2. Do you observe staff interacting with residents?
3. What is the skill mix of staff? Ideally facilities have a registered nurse on
each shift who is supported by enrolled nurses and carers.
4. What is the ratio of staff to residents? This fluctuates depending on the care
needs of residents. A ratio of staff to residents of 1:6 is great but it can range up to 1:10. Remember to ask for AM shift, PM shift and night duty shift ratios as they will vary.
5. Are residents actively engaged in activities?
6. Have a look at the activities calendar to see the type of activities offered by the facility.
7. If you can, visit around meal time so you can observe the meals served, the
variety, size and the dining experience.
8. Check out the size of the room. Ask what furniture is provided and what you can and cannot
bring in. Is there internet access? Is there access for a phone? Is a TV
9. Observe the general condition of the facility. Is it light, bright, well maintained? Are
there areas to meet privately with friends and family other than in the resident’s room? Is there access to outdoor areas?
10. Ask to see the minutes from the last residents and relatives meeting to see
what was discussed and check that the resident meetings are run regularly and there is proper follow up.

Are you looking to decide between a retirement village or aged care facility?

Don’t forget to make sure anything special to you is included or allowed. For example, if you are a smoker, is this permissible? There are many facilities now who do not allow smoking. Can you bring your dog to visit?

If you have questions around choosing an aged care facility or need help, you can contact us at info@signpostlms.com.au or call 1800 744 676.

Until next week

Sara and Margaret

Signpost Aged Care Services

How do home care packages work?

Home Care Package Funding

Home Care Packages are federally funded packages which provide services at home for those who need them.  An individual needs to be assessed as needing care to access these packages.  The assessment process is free and is done by your local ACAS or ACAT service.  To find the number of your local assessment service, call 1800 200 422.  If you are eligible for a home care package funding, the assessment will state whether you are eligible for a lower level package (level 1 or 2) or a higher care package (level 3 or 4).  The level depends on your needs disclosed in the home care package assessment process.

Eligibility for Home Care Package Funding

Once you are assessed as eligible for funds through a Home Care Package, your name is placed on a waiting list.  The packages are outsourced by the government to private and not-for-profit providers.  These providers have access to the waiting list in the area in which they deliver the services under the packages.

Home Care providers may have a number of packages available in their area. Some providers have all levels of packages and some providers only have lower level packages.  When a package becomes available for the provider (that is, when someone who has a package no longer needs it or the provider has been allocated new packages by the government), they contact people on the waiting list to see if they would like to access the package.  If the person says yes, then they will meet with the person, explain the available services and the costs and if agreement is reached, start providing the services.

Home Care Package Providers

You can contact the providers in your area proactively and see if they have packages available and ask them about their services.  In this way, you can get better choice about the services that are delivered and the cost of the services.  These things can be negotiated with the care provider.  A list of all the providers in your area is available on the myagedcare.gov.au website.  You should also bear in mind that in many cases, it is more expensive to access these services through the funded package than it would be to access them privately so once you have ascertained the cost of the service through the package, it is worth checking with a home care provider what it would cost if thecae was paid for privately.

If you need help accessing the services or understanding the options, contact us by phone on 1800 744 676.

Until next time

Margaret and Sara