Glossary

This Glossary is drawn from the Federal Government's My Aged Care site (www.myagedcare.gov.au/glossary). 

A

Accommodation bond

You may be asked to pay an accommodation bond if you have assets above a certain amount and you’re moving into an aged care home and you need low-level care or accept an extra-service place. This bond is paid to an Australian Government-subsidised aged care provider – called an approved provider. The approved provider is the organisation that owns and operates an aged care home.  A bond can only be charged for entry to an aged care home that is certified as meeting minimum building and care standards.

Accommodation charge

You may be asked to pay an accommodation charge if you have assets above a certain amount and you’re moving into an aged care home and you need high-level care. This charge is a daily amount, which is fixed from the day you move into the home until you are discharged from the home for a period greater than 28 days. You cannot be asked to pay an accommodation charge more than a month in advance. It can only be levied by an aged care home that is certified as meeting minimum building and care standards.

Accommodation contribution

You may be asked to contribute towards your costs if you’re moving into an Australian Government-subsidised aged care home. The Department of Human Services will work out if you are required to contribute and how much, based on an assessment of your income and assets. The Australian Government will pay any gap in your actual costs to the aged care home. For further information on how to pay your accommodation contribution, see Refundable Accommodation Contribution (RAC) and Daily Accommodation Contribution (DAC).

Accommodation payment

You may be asked to pay all of your accommodation costs if you’re moving into an Australian Government-subsidised aged care home. You will need to negotiate and pay the accommodation price agreed with the aged care home. An accommodation payment is when you are asked to pay all of your accommodation costs if you’re moving into an Australian Government-subsidised aged care home. The Department of Human Services will work out if you are required to pay all of your accommodation payment and how much, based on an assessment of your income and assets. For further information on how to pay your accommodation payment, see Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) and Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP).

Accreditation audit

An accreditation audit is an on-site assessment by an Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency assessment team of the quality of care provided by an aged care home. The quality of care is measured against the Accreditation Standards set out in the Aged Care Act 1997 and the Quality of Care Principles 1997. These audits determine whether an aged care home should be accredited and for how long. 

Accreditation Standards

Accreditation Standards are standards specified in the Aged Care Act 1997 and the Quality of Care Principles 1997 that Australian Government-subsidised aged care homes must meet before they can receive government funding. There are four Accreditation Standards and 44 expected outcomes focusing on: 

  • management systems, staffing and organisational development
  • health and personal care
  • lifestyle
  • physical environment and safe systems.

Accreditation status

Accreditation status lets you know if an aged care home is accredited. 

Accredited

An accredited aged care home is an Australian Government-funded aged care home that has been formally recognised as operating according to the Accreditation Standards as set out in the Aged Care Act 1997 and the Quality of Care Principles 1997. Accreditation is given by the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency. Homes are accredited for a set period of time up to a maximum of three years, although accreditation status can be changed at any time if there is a risk to the health, safety or wellbeing of a resident.

Additional service fee

You may be asked to pay an additional service fee if you’re living in an aged care home and you request or agree to additional services such as newspapers and hairdressing.

Additional services

Aged care homes are required to provide certain services to you by law. Many homes may make additional services such as newspapers and hairdressing available, either at no cost or for a fee.

Additional services/items provided at no cost

Aged care homes are required to provide certain services to you by law. Some homes may make additional services available at no additional cost.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

If you don’t agree with a decision that has been made about you by an Australian Government agency, then you can go to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The AAT is a high-level independent body that reviews Australian Government administrative actions. It is not a court.

Advance care planning

A process of planning for future health and personal care whereby the person’s values, beliefs and preferences are made known so they can guide decision-making at a future time when that person cannot make or communicate his or her decisions.

Advanced care directive

A type of written advance care plan completed and signed by a competent adult.  An advance care directive can record the person's preferences for future care and appoint a substitute decision maker to make decisions about health care and life management when the person is unable to express their preferences because of illness or injury.

Advocacy group

Advocacy groups use various forms of advocacy to influence public opinion and/or policy.

Advocacy services

If you receive Australian Government-subsidised aged care services, then an advocacy service can help you to exercise your rights by representing you, and providing information, advice and support to you, your family, your friends or your carer. An advocacy service is an independent, confidential service provided free of charge in each state and territory.

Advocate

An advocate is a person who can support or represent you in your dealings with others. 

Age pension

If you have reached retirement age then you may receive the Age Pension. This is a Department of Human Services payment which ensures you have an income for your retirement.

Aged blind pensioner

If you are blind and you receive an aged blind pension from the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans' Affairs, you are known as an aged blind pensioner. This payment is not means tested for pension purposes, but it will be counted as income when income tested fees for aged care homes are assessed.

Aged care

If you are an older person living in Australia then you may receive aged care. This is the personal and/or nursing care to support you to stay as independent and healthy as you can be. Aged care can also help you if you’re caring for someone older by giving you a helping hand to look after the person you care for. It is delivered through two main programs: residential aged care and home care.

Aged Care Act 1997

The Aged Care Act 1997 is the Commonwealth legislation that allows government funding to be provided for aged care. 

Aged Care Assessment Team

ACATs are teams of health professionals who can approve residential care, Home Care Packages and transition care. An ACAT assessor may include a doctor, nurse, social worker and/or other health professionals.

Aged Care Client Record

The Aged Care Client Record (ACCR) is the form completed by the Aged Care Assessment Team following an assessment. It includes information about your assessment and approval for you to receive a Home Care Package, transition care or help at home or move into an aged care home.

Aged Care Commissioner

The Aged Care Commissioner can review certain decisions made by the Aged Care Complaints Scheme (the Scheme) and examine complaints about the Scheme’s processes for handling matters under the Complaints Principles 2011. The Commissioner can also examine complaints about the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency’s conduct.

Aged Care Complaints Scheme

If you wish to raise a complaint or concern about an Australian Government-subsidised aged care service – including residential aged care homes, Home Care Packages and Commonwealth HACC services – then you can access the Aged Care Complaints Scheme. The Scheme is a free service available to everyone.

Aged Care Financing Authority

The Aged Care Financing Authority provides independent advice to the Australian Government about pricing and financing issues based on information gathered through consulting consumers. This authority also provides independent advice about the aged care and finance sectors. 

Aged Care Funding Instrument

The Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) was introduced on 20 March 2008 to allocate Australian Government subsidies to aged care homes. The ACFI funding is based on the individual assessed care needs of people living in the aged care home.

Aged Care Principles

The Aged Care Principles 1997 are the subordinate legislation of the Aged Care Act 1997.

Aged care service

An aged care service provides care and services through residential, home or flexible care.

Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency

The Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency is an independent company established in 1997 under corporations law, and subject to the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997. It was appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Social Services as the 'accreditation body' under Section 80-1 of the Aged Care Act 1997 to

  • the accreditation process
  • help the industry improve service delivery through education and training
  • assess and assist services working towards accreditation.

Ageing In place

If you are living in an aged care home, your care needs might increase in the future. Some aged care homes offer both low-level care and high-level care which means you may be able to stay in the same home to receive both levels of care. This is called ageing in place. An offer of ageing in place does not necessarily guarantee that you may not be required to move in some circumstances and that this should be discussed with the provider.

Approved provider

If you receive government subsidised aged care, services or accommodation, then they may be delivered to you by an approved provider. An approved provider is the organisation that owns and operates aged care services including home, flexible and residential care, which may be provided to you in your own home, in the community or in an aged care home.

Assets assessment

You may need an assets assessment to work out if you qualify for assistance with your aged care accommodation costs. The Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs carries out this assessment. It will also help you to work out the amount that you may be asked to pay towards your accommodation costs (accommodation bond or accommodation charge) for permanent care in an aged care home.

Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged

The Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged Program assists older people on a low-income who need support and are in rental or insecure accommodation or are already homeless.

B

Basic daily fee

You may be asked to pay a basic daily fee if you’re moving into an Australian Government-subsidised aged care home. This fee is a contribution towards your day-to-day living costs such as meals, power and laundry. For some people this is the only fee they are required to pay.

Basic Fee

If you are receiving a Home Care Package you can be asked to pay a basic fee. Anyone who is receiving a home care package can be asked to pay this.

C

Care fees and charges

You may be asked to pay different care fees and charges for residential aged care. The amount you are required to pay will depend on your income and assets, while daily care fees contribute to the cost of your care.

Care leaver

A care leaver is an adult who spent time in institutional or out-of-home care as a child (i.e. under the age of 18). This care could have been foster care, residential care (mainly children’s homes) or another arrangement outside the immediate or extended family. The term ‘care leaver’ includes Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants and Stolen Generations.

Care plan

In consultation with you, the health professionals who provide your care may develop a care plan for you. If you like, your family or a friend can also be involved in this process. The care plan outlines your care needs and instructions about how these needs will be met.

Care recipient

If you receive care and support, either in the community, in your own home or in an aged care home, then you are a care recipient. The care you receive may include support to take part in social activities, help with physical tasks and/or medical and personal care.

Carer

If you provide personal care, support and assistance to someone who is frail aged, or has a severe medical condition or disability, then you are a carer. Carers can be family members, friends or neighbours.

Carer allowance

If you are a carer providing daily care and attention for an adult with a disability, a severe medical condition or who is frail aged at home, then you may be eligible for a carer allowance. This is a fortnightly payment administered by the Department of Human Services which may be paid in addition to other payments.

Carer payment

If you are a carer who is unable to participate in paid employment because of the demands of your caring role, then you may be eligible for income support in the form of a carer payment. This payment is administered by the Department of Human Services.

Carer support groups

If you are a carer and would like to meet other carers, then you may like to consider joining a carer support group. These groups provide an opportunity for people with similar experiences to get together and learn from each other by sharing experiences, feelings, ideas, concerns, information and problems. They’re also a great way to take a break and socialise.

Certified

Certification is a process designed to provide an incentive for approved providers to improve the physical quality of government subsidised residential aged care buildings. It includes improving fire safety, privacy and space requirements.

Charter of Residents’ Rights and Responsibilities

If you are receiving care in an aged care home, you have rights and responsibilities that are included under the Aged Care Act 1997. This is called the Charter of Residents’ Rights and Responsibilities.

Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for Home Care

If you are receiving a Home Care Package, you have rights and responsibilities that are included under the Aged Care Act 1997. This is called the Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for Home Care.

Chronic disease

A chronic disease is a long term condition that generally does not get better on its own and is generally not cured completely. Chronic diseases can lead to other health complications, and can be associated with functional impairment and disability. They may affect you at any stage in your life; however, as you grow older, the chances of contracting certain chronic diseases can increase. Examples include asthma, arthritis, cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary heart disease, dementia, mental health conditions such as depression, oral disease, osteoporosis and stroke.

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre

If you need to access information on carer support and respite services, then contact a Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre. These centres provide a point of contact for the general public, carers, service providers, general practitioners and other health professionals. Phone 1800 052 222 during business hours, or for emergency respite support outside standard business hours call 1800 059 059.

Community Aged Care Packages

The Australian Government introduced new Home Care Packages with four levels of care from August 2013. If you previously accessed services through a Community Aged Care Package, you will continue to receive the help you need under a different package name – Home Care Level 2. 

Community nursing and health centres

If you are frail aged, then you may need nursing care from an enrolled or registered nurse at a community nursing and health centre to improve or maintain your health and wellbeing.

Community Visitors Scheme (volunteer visitors)

A volunteer from the Community Visitors Scheme visits someone living in an aged care home who may be lonely or socially isolated. They visit regularly (at least once a fortnight) and provide companionship and friendship. Volunteer visitors are recruited by an approved Community Visitor Scheme community organisation and matched to aged care recipients in consultation with aged care service providers.

Consumer Directed Care

Consumer Directed Care (CDC) incorporates many of the principles of person-centred care while putting you in charge of decisions about your care. It allows you to:

  • have more control over your own life
  • focus on your life goals and strengths
  • place your needs at the centre of the services and support (including aged care and health services) you receive
  • make choices and/or manage the services you access including how much you are involved, who delivers the services to you and when.

Contact centre

The contact centre is a key point of interaction between the Aged Care Gateway, consumers, assessors, aged care service providers and other parties. It includes a range of contact channels including telephone, mail, facsimile, email and (in the future) web-chat and social media.

Continence Aids Payment Scheme

If you have permanent and severe incontinence, you may be eligible for assistance from the Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS). The CAPS is an Australian Government payment that assists eligible people to meet some of the cost of their continence products. It is a direct payment which means you have flexibility and choice about where and when you purchase your continence products.

D

Daily Accommodation Contribution (DAC)

The DAC is the equivalent daily contribution for accommodation costs in an Australian Government-subsidised aged care home. You make this payment on a regular basis, up to a month in advance, similar to paying rent. This payment is not refundable. For further information, see Accommodation contribution and Daily Accommodation Contribution (DAC).

Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP)

The DAP is the equivalent daily payment for accommodation costs in an Australian Government-subsidised aged care home. You make this payment on a regular basis, up to a month in advance, similar to paying rent. This payment is not refundable. For further information, see Accommodation payment and Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD).

Day Therapy Centre Program

If you are aged 65 years and over or identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander aged 50 years and over, living in the community or are receiving low-level care in an aged care home, you might need various therapies to keep you mobile and independent as you can be. This is where the Day Therapy Centre Program may be able to help.

Day Therapy Centres

If you are frail aged and either living in your own home or as a low level care resident in an Australian Government-funded aged care home, then you may benefit from a Day Therapy Centre. These centres offer physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy, podiatry and other therapy services to help you be as independent as you can be to allow you to stay in your own home or in low level care.

Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Services

If you are caring for someone with dementia, then you may benefit from Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Services. These services are established in each state and territory and can: 

  • help you manage the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia such as wandering and aggression 
  • provide advice, assessment, case management and support to community and residential care workers and family carers. 

Discharge plan

If you are discharged from hospital then you may have a discharge plan. This is a plan developed by the hospital in close consultation with you, your carer and hospital and community service providers to ensure you receive appropriate and coordinated care when you leave the hospital.

E

End of life

End of life refers to the final stages of a person’s life. The death of a loved one is not an easy subject to deal with but there are services and support to assist in what is often an emotionally challenging and stressful time.

Enduring power of attorney

An enduring power of attorney allows a person to delegate the management of their affairs, even if they’re no longer able to understand the implications. A person can only give an enduring power of attorney while they’re able to understand the nature and effect of the document. An enduring power of attorney comes into effect once a person loses mental capacity.

Ex-prisoners of war

If you are an Australian ex-prisoner of war, the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) can provide support for you and for eligible family members. DVA can also provide assistance by paying some residential aged care costs and Home Care Package fees. A POW is exempt from paying income tested fees in residential aged care.

Extended Aged Care at Home

The Australian Government introduced new Home Care Packages with four levels of care from August 2013. If you previously accessed accessed services through an Extended Aged Care at Home (EACH) package, you will continue to receive the help you need under a different package name – Home Care Level 4.

A Dementia Supplement will also be paid automatically to the organisation that provides your services to ensure that you continue to receive the same level of government funding from August 2013.

Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia

The Australian Government introduced new Home Care Packages with four levels of care from July 2013. If you already access services through an Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia package (EACHD), you will continue to receive the help you need under a different package name – Home Care Level 4.

A Dementia Supplement will also be paid automatically to the organisation that provides your services to ensure that you continue to receive the same level of government funding from July 2013.

Extra or additional optional services

If you are moving into an aged care home, you may be asked to pay additional fees if you choose higher standards of accommodation or additional services. These vary from home to home. Your aged care provider can provide you with details of these services and the fees that apply.

F

Facilities to help people with dementia

All aged care homes are expected to provide care for people living with dementia, but some homes have facilities set up that provide specialised dementia care and support.

Financial hardship provisions

If you are living in an aged care home and you have genuine difficulty in paying your aged care payments and relevant ongoing expenses then you may be eligible for financial hardship provisions provided under the Aged Care Act 1997. Financial hardship assistance may be available to you if, through matters beyond your control, you do not have the income or assets available to pay your care costs. Every case is considered on an individual basis and based on each resident’s financial circumstances.

Flexible Aged Care Program

If you are an older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander then you may benefit from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program (flexible program). This program provides quality, flexible, culturally appropriate aged care close to your home and community.

Flexible care

There are flexible aged care places provided through a number of different programs which can provide you with an alternative to more traditional community and residential care. These include Multipurpose Services, the Transition Care Program and the Aged Care Innovative Pool.

Focus on socially and financially disadvantaged people

Almost all aged care homes will care for people who are socially or financially disadvantaged, but some homes focus on helping people who are in this situation.

Full pensioner

If you receive the maximum Australian Government means tested pension, then you are known as a full pensioner.

G

Government-subsidised aged care facility

A government-subsidised aged care facility is a term previously used to describe an Australian Government-subsidised aged care home. These facilities receive funding from the Australian Government and are bound by the requirements of the Aged Care Act 1997.

Guardian

A guardian is a legally appointed substitute decision maker. They may make lifestyle decisions, such as where a person should live, as well as give their consent to medical, dental and health care services generally. They can only make these decisions subject to the powers granted to them to do so. A family member or friend can be appointed as a guardian. In some circumstances, where it is not appropriate to appoint a private guardian, the board or tribunal has the option of appointing the Public Guardian who is usually a statutory official.

H

High-level care

If you have been assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT, or ACAS in Victoria) as needing high-level care, then you will need assistance with most day-to-day living tasks as well as 24-hour care, either by registered nurses or care staff under the supervision of registered nurses. This means your nursing care is combined with your:

  • accommodation
  • support services (cleaning, laundry and meals)
  • personal care services (help with dressing, eating, toileting, bathing, moving around and maintaining continence)
  • allied health services (such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, recreational therapy and podiatry).

Home and Community Care (HACC) program

If you are an older person and need help to stay at home and to be more independent in the community, then you may benefit from the Home and Community Care (HACC) Program. The HACC program provides a comprehensive, coordinated and integrated range of basic maintenance, support and care services for older people and their carers. Eligible older people are people aged 65 years and over and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and over. 

Home care

Home Care Packages combine several services to meet your specific care needs and gives choice and flexibility in the way you are given care and support. If you need care and support to stay independent and living at home, then you may benefit from home care. These services are provided through a range of programs and offer varying levels of care.

Home Care Packages

The types of services provided under a Home Care Package will depend on your needs.

 

There are four levels  of Home Care Packages designed to give the care needed:

Level 1 supports people with basic-care needs

Level 2 supports people with low-level care needs

Level 3 supports people with intermediate-care needs

Level 4 supports people with high-level care needs

 

A new dementia supplement and a new veteran's supplement will be available for eligible consumers in all Home Care Packages and in residential care. 

 

Some new Home Care Packages are delivered on a Consumer Directed Care (CDC) basis, and from July 2015, all Home Care Packages will operate on a CDC basis. That means all existing care packages will be transitioned to operate on a CDC basis by July 2015.

Home maintenance and modifications

If you are an older Australian living at home, then you may benefit from home maintenance and modification services. These services may support you to stay in your own home by making your home safer and more secure. Services may include changing light bulbs, installing an emergency alarm or doing repairs.

Home Support Program

The Home Support Program will come into effect from 1 July 2015. It will combine the services currently providing basic home support – including the Commonwealth HACC Program, the National Respite for Carers Program, the Day Therapy Centres program and the Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged Program – into one integrated Home Support Program.

Hospice

A hospice is a facility specifically for the palliative care of people with a progressive life limiting illness. It offers total care for the person including physical, emotional and spiritual support, and also cares for the person’s family. Hospices are staffed by specifically trained doctors, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists and volunteers. 

Hostel care

Hostel care is the previous name for aged care homes that provide low-level care including accommodation services such as meals, laundry and room cleaning, as well as additional help with personal care and maybe nursing care.

I

Income-tested care fee for Home Care Packages

People on incomes higher than the Age Pension may be asked to contribute towards the cost of their Home Care Package. The Department of Human Services will work out if you are required to pay this fee, and how much, based on an assessment of your income.

Independent advocate

An independent advocate is a person from an advocacy service who has no relationship with the person they are supporting or with the agency that person is dealing with.

Independent Living Centres

If you are an older Australian and you want to be as independent as you can be, then you may benefit from an Independent Living Centre. These centres provide information and advisory services and have a display of products and equipment that can assist you with day-to-day living.

L

Level of care

Before you move into an Australian Government-subsidised aged care home, you will need to be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT, or ACAS in Victoria). An ACAT will work out if you need either low level or high level care.

Live-in setting

A live-in setting refers to facility-based accommodation which has a more home-like, less institutional feel to it as well as space available for therapy. This setting can be part of an existing aged care home or health facility such as in a separate wing of a hospital.

Living will

A living will (also known as an advance care directive) lets everyone involved in the care process know the wishes of the person approaching the end of their life in regards to health and medical care.

Low-level care

If you have been assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT, or ACAS in Victoria) as requiring low-level care, then you may need:

  • accommodation services such as meals, laundry, room cleaning
  • additional help with personal care

nursing care if required. 

M

Means-tested care fee

You may be asked to contribute towards the cost of your care if you’re moving into an Australian Government-subsidised aged care home. The Department of Human Services will work out if you are required to pay this fee and how much, based on an assessment of your income and assets.

My Aged Care

The My Aged Care website was established to provide clear and reliable information about aged care. This website and the contact centre will be the main entry point into the aged care system and will eventually offer a comprehensive way to help you find the information you need. 

N

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aged Care Strategy

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aged Care Strategy aims to improve access to, and quality of, culturally appropriate care for older people aged 50 years and over from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Aged Care Strategy aims to improve access to, and quality of, culturally appropriate care for older people aged 50 years and over from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

National Carer Counselling Program

If you are caring for an older person or a person with a disability, then you may benefit from the National Carer Counselling Program. This program provides short-term counselling and support services around specific areas of concern to you.

National Respite for Carers Program

If you’re caring for an older Australian, and in some instances, younger people with a disability, then you may benefit from the National Respite for Carers Program. This program provides respite, information and other support to allow you to take a break from your caring role.

Nominee

A nominee is a person who can act on behalf of another person to conduct business, represent interests and receive correspondence from most Australian Government departments — including the Department of Social Services. Only one person can be registered as a resident's nominee, and nominee arrangements are not shared between government agencies.

Notices of Non-Compliance

The Department of Social Services can issue a Notice of Non-Compliance (a Notice) to an aged care home if they are not complying with their responsibilities to provide the required care and services. The Notice identifies the problems that need to be addressed including a timeframe that they must be addressed by. The aged care home is encouraged to meet with people living in the home to tell them about the identified problems and explain what the home will be doing to fix them.

Nursing home

Nursing home is the previous name for aged care homes that provide high-level care including accommodation services such as meals, laundry and room cleaning, and personal and nursing care.

P

Palliative care

Palliative care is provided for people who have an advanced illness, with little or no prospect of cure. The aim of palliative care is to achieve the best possible quality of life for the person, their family and carers.

Part-pensioner

If you receive an Australian Government means tested pension that is less than the maximum amount, then you are known as a part-pensioner.

Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care

The Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) Program enables aged care homes and ethnic communities to work together to establish and maintain links between residents of aged care homes and their social, cultural and linguistic networks. There is a co-ordinator for this program in each state or territory.

Peak body

A peak body is an organisation which is formed to represent the views of a number of smaller groups and organisations.

Personal and medical alarms

Personal and medical alarms are monitoring devices that work through an attachment to your home or mobile telephone and a button that you wear as a pendant or a wristband. With many products, the device sends a message to the monitored base station. Staff at the base station contact whoever is named to respond to the emergency.  The contact person responds to the emergency. There is a charge for these services, but some Department of Veterans' Affairs pensioners can access them free.

Power of attorney

A power of attorney is a document that gives a person nominated by you (your attorney) the power to act on your behalf. It allows the attorney to sign or do anything that you yourself can legally do, subject to any conditions or limitations stated in the document.

R

Refundable Accommodation Contribution (RAC)

The RAC is a lump-sum contribution for accommodation costs in an Australian Government-subsidised aged care home.  This lump sum will be refunded when you leave the aged care home.  For further information, see Accommodation contribution and Daily Accommodation Contribution (DAC).

Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD)

The RAD is a lump-sum payment for accommodation costs in an Australian Government-subsidised aged care home. This lump sum will be refunded when you leave the aged care home. For further information, see Accommodation payment and Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP).

Rehabilitation

If you’re recovering from illness or injury then you may benefit from rehabilitation. This helps you to regain as much of your previous ability as possible so that you can become or remain as independent as you can be.

Rent assistance

Rent assistance is a The Department of Human Services payment that can help pay rent for accommodation in the private rental market.

Repatriation Health Card

If you are a veteran there are three types of Repatriation Health Cards available based on your

  • Gold Repatriation Health Card
  • White Repatriation Health Card
  • Orange Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Card.

Resident Agreement

If you’re living in an aged care home, you have the right to choose whether you wish to enter into a written agreement with your aged care home. A Resident Agreement is a legal agreement that covers the terms of your residency, as well as the rights and responsibilities of both you and your aged care home.

Residential aged care

If you receive personal and and/or nursing care in a residential facility, as well as accommodation, you are in residential aged care. This type of care also includes: 

  • appropriate staffing to meet your nursing and personal care needs
  • meals and cleaning services
  • furnishings, furniture and equipment.

Respite care

Respite care (also known as short-term care) is a form of support for carers or care recipients. It gives the carer the opportunity to attend to everyday activities and have a break from their caring role and the care recipient a break from their usual care arrangements. Respite care may be given informally by friends, family or neighbours, or by formal respite services.

Residential respite can be used on a planned or emergency basis by people who have been approved by an ACAT to receive residential respite care.

Retention amounts

Retention amounts are sums of money that the aged care home may deduct each month from your accommodation bond for a period of five years.

Rights and responsibilities

If you receive aged care then you have rights and responsibilities. There are different rights and responsibilities depending on whether you are receiving care at home or in an aged care home.

S

Sanction

The Department of Social Services may impose sanctions if an approved provider is not complying with its responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997. The decision to impose sanctions is not taken lightly and includes consideration of issues such as whether the non-compliance is minor or serious, whether it has occurred before and whether it threatens the health, welfare or interests of the residents.

Sanctions in place

The Department of Social Services may impose sanctions if an approved provider is not complying with its responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997. The decision to impose sanctions is not taken lightly and includes consideration of issues such as whether the non-compliance is minor or serious, whether it has occurred before and whether it threatens the health, welfare or interests of the residents.

Self-funded retiree / non-pensioner

If you fund your own retirement and don't receive any Australian Government means-tested pensions, then you are known as a self-funded retiree. You may sometimes be known as a non-pensioner.

Self-management programs

If you have a chronic disease then you may benefit from self-management programs for chronic diseases. These programs provide support for managing your chronic illness, usually by assisting you to change your behaviour in ways that will improve your health.

Service provider

A service provider is an organisation funded to provide aged care services to older people. 

Services/items available at a cost

You may be asked to pay an additional service fee if you’re living in an aged care home and you request or agree to additional services such as newspapers and hairdressing.

Short-term care

There are two main types of short-term care available – respite care and transition care.

Social leave

If you are a permanent resident of an aged care home, you are entitled to 52 nights away from the home in a financial year without having to pay extra fees. This is known as social leave.  If you take more than 52 nights you may be asked to pay additional fees to compensate the aged care home for the loss of subsidies that the Australian Government pays to the home.

Special needs groups

There are eight groups of people with special needs mentioned in aged care legislation. These are:

  • people from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds
  • people who live in rural or remote areas
  • people who are financially or socially disadvantaged
  • people who are veterans of the Australian Defence Force or an allied defence force including the spouse, widow or widower of a veteran
  • people who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless
  • people who are care leavers (which includes Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants and Stolen Generations)
  • people from lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans/transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities.

Special relationships

Some aged care homes claim that they have a special relationship with certain people or organisations.

Specialised programs for people with a particular disability

All aged care homes are expected to provide care and services for people with a disability, but some homes have facilities and programs set up specifically to help people with disabilities.

Specialised programs for people with a particular health condition

All aged care homes are expected to provide care and services for people with particular health conditions, but some homes have facilities and programs set up specifically to help people with particular health conditions.

Specific services for people from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds

All aged care homes are expected to provide care and services for people from an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background, but some homes have a special focus on providing culturally appropriate care and services.

Specified care and services

If you’re living in an aged care home, your home is obliged to provide a range of care and services to you at no additional cost. These are known as specified care and services, and they must be provided in a way which meets the requirements of the Aged Care Act 1997 including the Accreditation Standards. 

Staff development and training

Aged care homes strive to ensure that staff keep their skills up-to-date and develop new skills. 

Staff development and training policy

Many aged care homes have a staff development and training policy that provides detailed information on how they maintain and enhance the skills of their staff.

Staff on-site

The staff that you can expect to find on-site at an aged care home in the course of a normal day

Staffing policy

Many aged care homes provide a staffing policy that details the types of nursing and non-nursing staff they have, numbers of staff, ratios of staff to residents, and other information.

Supported resident

If the Australian Government partially or fully subsidises your accommodation costs because you are a resident with low assets living in an aged care home, then you are known as a supported resident. You may still be required to pay the costs of your care.

T

Transition care

If you are an older person who is ready to be discharged from hospital, but you still need short-term care after your hospital stay to be as independent as you can be, then you may benefit from transition care (also known as ‘after-hospital care’). This type of care is designed to ensure more people return home after a hospital stay rather than move into an aged care home prematurely.

Translating and Interpreting Service

The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) is available for both English and non-English speakers. For non-English speakers, TIS National can provide telephone and onsite interpreters. For English speakers, TIS National provides interpreting services to help communicate with non-English speaking people using Automated Telephone Interpreting Service  and onsite interpreting.

V

Veteran and war widow/widower pensioners

If you are a veteran or war widow/widower and you are eligible for and receive a pension from the Department of Veterans' Affairs, then you are known as a veteran and war widow/widower pensioner.

Veterans' Home Care

If you are a veteran, war widow or widower who has low care needs to remain in your own home for longer, you may benefit from Veterans' Home Care (VHC). This is a Department of Veterans' Affairs program that provides services including domestic assistance, personal care as well as gardening and home maintenance. VHC is not an entitlement-based program like most other veterans’ programs but a fixed budget program. 

Veterans’ supplement

If you are a veteran with an accepted mental health condition, then you may benefit from the Veterans’ Supplement. This supplement was introduced from 1 July 2013 and will apply to all eligible veterans receiving a Home Care Package or living in an aged care home. It is designed to help providers deliver more appropriate care to veterans with an accepted mental health condition. 

W

War widow/widower pensions

War widow/widower pensions are pensions paid by the Department of Veterans' Affairs to widowed partners and dependents of veterans who have died as a result of war service or eligible defence service.

I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work at St Basils for many years and this (Bushfire Emergency accommodation) is another example of why. Such a caring and empathetic organisation with a board and staff who are sincere in all they do in caring for the elderly of South Australia.

- Anne