Aged Care Frequently Asked Questions


Understanding aged care and the terminology used can be challenging.

Please find below just some of the more commonly asked questions we receive regarding aged care.

Of course, if you have a specific question, then please do not hesitate to call Aged Care Step by Step on 0456 645 533, we’d be glad to help.

At the bottom of this page, you will also find some useful resources and links.

What are some of the signs that a loved one may need aged care?

Whilst every individual is different, some of the signs that a person may benefit from aged care services are:

  • Difficulty with walking, balance and mobility
  • Losing track of time
  • Missing important appointments
  • Not managing personal finances properly
  • Forgetting to take medication
  • Sleeping for most of the day
  • Trouble getting up from a seated position
  • Changes in mood or extreme mood swings
  • Poor diet or unexplained weight loss
  • Poor personal hygiene in comparison to their usual standards of hygiene
  • Wearing dishevelled clothing and a shabby appearance
  • A neglected and untidy home

The main cause for concern are changes in people’s habits and behaviours because some people are naturally untidy and disorganised.

Any significant changes in a person’s ability to complete these Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are indications to health professionals that a person may need a range of support in their everyday life, whether at home or in a facility.

Who can access Aged Care?

Whilst aged care is mainly for individuals over the age of 65 who are no longer able to cope independently at home, aged care eligibility is actually based on an individual’s ‘care needs’ rather than their age.

Each individual must be assessed and approved for Aged Care Assessment Services (ACAS) prior to moving into residential aged care or receiving an approved Commonwealth Home Support Package.

What is an ACAS assessment?

An ACAS in Victoria is an assessment organised by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) and is required for a person who needs to be approved for government-funded services including home care, residential aged care, transition care or respite care.

An ACAS assessment is used to make a recommendation for the type and level of care that will best meet your needs at any given time.

Do you need an ACAS assessment for aged care that is not funded by the Federal Government?

No. You do not need an ACAS assessment for aged care services that are not funded by the Federal Government; however, most aged care homes are government subsidised so you will still need an ACAS assessment.

What is the My Aged Care Website Portal?

The Federal Government’s My Aged Care Website Portal is the main entry point to the aged care system in Australia. My Aged Care aims to make it easier for older people, their families, and carers to access information on ageing and aged care, have their needs assessed and be supported to find and access services. The portal can also be accessed via myGov.

What is residential aged care?

Residential aged care is either a government-funded residential aged care facility or an aged care facility that is privately owned and operated or run by a not-for-profit organisation that has government approval to provide care to the elderly. It can be either permanent or respite (short-term) care.

What is respite care?

Respite care is the opportunity for both a carer and the person being cared for to take a break! Respite helps relieve the stress of being a carer, or simply gives the carer time to catch up on personal duties. This might be for a few hours a day, a full day, a night or several weeks.

Respite care is provided by residential aged care facilities and community care services.
The most common form of respite is when a person transfers into a facility for a few days or weeks. Most individuals are eligible for 63 days of respite over the course of each financial year once their assessments have been completed.

What is a dementia secure aged care facility?

A dementia secure aged care facility is a facility that contains a fully secure dementia wing that is exclusively for individuals with dementia or similar conditions. These facilities provide a higher level of security and care and prevent residents from wandering or leaving the facility. Not all individuals with dementia need to reside in a dementia secure care facility.

What suburbs in Melbourne do you offer aged care placements?

At Aged Care Step by Step, we specialise in aged care placements throughout Melbourne’s CBD, eastern and south-eastern suburbs and into the Yarra Ranges. Clients in other areas such as Geelong and Ballarat will be taken into consideration on an individual basis. According to your needs, we can find the best possible solutions for you.

What is home care?

If, at the ACAS review, a decision is made by the ACAT that residential care isn’t required for the person at this stage, the logical option will be for a Home Care Package to be applied for. From this point, the Consultant will explain how this system works. In the future, if residential services are required, the Consultant will step back into the process on your behalf to assist with the next stage.

Aged Care Resources


Below you will find some useful resources and links that we trust will help.

My Aged Care

My Aged Care is your starting point to access Australian government-funded aged care services.

Aged Care Means Tests

To get help paying for aged care you need an assessment from an Aged Care Assessment Team and an aged care means test.

Ageing and Aged Care

For any facility fees to be subsidised by the Federal Government, a means test needs to be completed via the Centrelink portal or on a paper document or else full fees will be charged by the facility.

We can recommend expert financial advisers who may help at this stage.

Is a loved one of yours not coping at home?
Call Aged Care Step by Step
for an obligation-free chat on
0456 645 533

Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm


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