Navigating the aged-care paperwork maze

Moving into aged care can lead to a maze of paperwork. We discuss some of the key forms you or your loved one will need to fill in, and give you some tips to help make the process more understandable and manageable.

Moving into aged care can be a maze of paperwork, which can prove very challenging for residents and their loved ones, often at an already stressful time. Keith Crossland, Regional Business Administration Manager at Bupa Aged Care, outlines the key forms you're likely to need to fill out and provides some tips on how you can make the process more manageable.
 
Few people think about aged care until the need arises, which is often in a high-pressure situation, such as being discharged from hospital. This means that major life-changing decisions are made at what is often an extremely stressful time. Also the essential paperwork usually requires a lot of personal information, which families do not always know or have easy access to.
 
If your loved one is no longer capable of making decisions or communicating well, it can be extremely difficult to pull together all the information requested, particularly the financial information. How many of us really know our family member’s financial situation, including all assets and income, for example?

Where to start

Knowledge is power, so finding as much out about the process at the earliest opportunity will help make the path less rocky. The Department of Social Security’s myagedcare.gov.au website contains a lot of useful information for those taking the first steps.

The site includes sections on types of services, eligibility and assessment, as well as having a Residential Care Fee estimator, which can give an indication of the likely costs of entering aged care.

Bupa’s Aged Care website is also a very useful resource, which takes you through the process of choosing a home step by step.
Family looking at paperwork

Forms you’ll need to complete

In order to enter government-funded residential aged care, an Aged Care Client Record (ACCR) is required. This is an assessment of need undertaken by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT, or ACAS in Victoria).
 
Your loved one will also be required to complete a Permanent Residential Aged Care Request for a Combined Asset and Income Assessment form (SA457). This is used to calculate the aged care fees and charges you may be asked to pay, and the amount of government assistance the care home may receive on behalf of the resident. This form is available from Centrelink and could take some weeks to complete. Failure or refusal to complete it can result in maximum fees and charges being applied until you’ve done so.
 
The aged care home will also need you or your loved one to complete a Residential Agreement prior to permanently entering the home.

How Bupa can help

Bupa is dedicated to putting the resident at the centre of everything we do. The team will do everything possible to ease the transition into care and ensure the decisions taken are the right ones. We will only offer a room if it is the correct decision for the resident and we can deliver the level of clinical care they require.
 
We can help you compare each home you visit with our ‘Choosing a Care Home’ booklet and app, which lets you make true comparisons across seven important areas to ensure that your decision meets all your needs and the needs of your loved one. 

Another way we can help is with the Aged Care Financial Guidance Panel. Independent to Bupa, the Panel connects you and your family to accredited financial advisers in your area. They can help you to make appropriate choices for your individual circumstances and can provide the reassurance and guidance you need.

Bupa Aged Care

Bupa Aged Care Bupa Aged Care, offers a full range of care including respite, residential and specialised dementia care. Find out more

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