My nan has just had an ACAT assessment and has been approved for respite care (temporary and permenant). Prior to this, she has been living in an independant living (unit) at a retirement village. The money from her unit will transfer across as a bond for her respite care and my understanding is that her ongoing upkeep will cost 80% of her pension (~$50 a day).
My confusion here is - why did we have to get an ACAT assessment? What have they actually done/ provided? And what are we entitled to?
At this stage, all her future personal spending will be from the left over 20% of her pension, ~$12 a day or $336 a month. Nan has macular degeneration and needs an injection into each eye once a month - at $150 a pop, that’s $300 a month and 90% of the money she’ll have left over each month. Honestly, that doesn’t leave much money for things like: going on outtings, christmas and birthday pressents for family, clothes and personal hygiene products, other medications etc.
I assume that we (her family) will simply have to adsorb these costs, but my husband has asked the very reasonable question of - why did we bother waiting on the ACAT assessment if they don’t actually do anything? And frankly, I’m stumped !
Based on your question, we wonder if there may be a little confusion as to the purpose of the ACAT assessment. It is our believe that the ACAT assessment is done to determine if someones needs require them to be in an nursing home. Placements in nursing homes are in great demand so the government checks every individual to make sure they need to be there. If the individuals needs can be met through a Home Care Package then the ACAT assessment will advise that. I dont believe the purpose of the ACAT assessment is about what government funding is provided to the family. Unfortunately living in a nursing home is expensive and the government carefully checks that families that can afford to pay for the expenses of it do so. This is done through the Assets and Income Assessment. Centrelink will ask the individual (with help of the family if required) to complete quite a lengthy form about the individuals finances and assets.
This section clearly explains each of the four fees for someone going into a nursing home.
A link to the Centrelink form can also be found here:
The finances around aged care are complex and it is a good idea to speak to a financial adviser who specialises in Aged Care to get tailored advice. Whist it may seem like an added cost, they could provide advise that in the long term will help you make the best financial decisions.
We hope this helps, the agedcare101 team.