If admission into residential care and nursing homes is confusing to families, then Aged Care Assessment Teams are often one of the most important resources in obtaining a comprehensive solution.
Otherwise known as ACAT, the Aged Care Assessment Teams in NSW are typically doctors, nurses and social workers attached to a hospital who assess elderly people for aged care needs and make recommendations for the most appropriate type of care required for their personal circumstances.
Elderly people may contact ACAT or an associated agency themselves when they realise they need help to continue living at home. This can take the form of Home Care packages that may include:
– personal care: help with showering, bathing, dressing, mobility, meal preparation & eating;
– support services: help with washing & ironing, house cleaning, gardening, basic home maintenance, home modifications related to care needs, transport for shopping, doctor visits or social activities;
– clinical care: nursing & other health support such as physiotherapy & podiatry.
The Aged Care Assessment Team member will consult with the person to determine & implement the best solution. However, there often is a ‘trigger event’ that brings the patient or resident to the attention of ACAT. Common trigger events include:
– a fall at home,
– heart attack,
– ‘wandering’ caused by dementia,
– poor recovery from surgery.
In these cases ACAT may recommend more formal care alternatives such as:
– respite care,
– low level residential aged care,
– high level residential aged care.
If you have a family member or relative who requires permanent aged care, the ACAT team may perform the following tasks:
– issue the assessment for high or low care
– assist with placement into a care facility
– provide information on local services available
You should seek financial advice once an Aged Care Assessment Team provides:
– an assessment for low or high care, or
– when the ACAT assessment is imminent.