Would an ACAT have necessarily been done to organise home care?

Hi there,
i am just new to this site but it would like to say what a relief it is to have found it, Thankyou!
My Mum is nearly 100, still lives in her own home and has always prided herself on her independence and being able to manage her home and health. My brother and I have always respected this. However as her cognition and health is declining we would both like to help more but my mother has never given us permission to speak to her GP about her health now and in the near future. The GP has been mine also for a long time, but when I tried to start a conversation about her cognitive and or health initially just to talk about her still driving, he became very agitated and told me my brother and I needed to together bring Mum into to the surgery to have any discussions about her. His attitude upset me, I guess he is protecting MUm but I was gobsmacked that I didnt feel respected or given a way forward if Mum refuses to let anyone discuss her health needs as I watch her decline, no matter how much food and care I give here I cannot be with her and know she is suffering in silence.
Mum has had a Home Care nurse visit for a number of years now and I have recently managed to organise a Daily Care person ( Mum has a DVA gold card) who she allows to make her bed, she also has a regular dietician and nurse visit but they all tell me she is not eating much and losing weight and her cognition is deteriorating. I live half an hour a way and visit or contact her most days but worry and feel guilty constantly that I am not there for her, but her independent streak has not diminished.
So my question is… would Mum have initially had an ACAT assessment done to receive a Home Care package? Can I ask the GP to discuss this I know Mum?s wish to not end up in hospital but as her health is diminishing we really do need to have some further options in place when care in the home is not sufficient anymore?

You are very welcome. All the best.Jill

Thankyou for your thoughtful comments. They are very helpful, its so great to know there are these forums available for people to discuss things in a non judgementa

Hi Mel D,
How wonderful that your mother is so resourceful at 100 years of age. At the same time I understand your concerns. In answer to your question, yes you do need an ACAT to access a Home Care Package. So assuming you did not arrange it then either your mother or perhaps her GP organised the assessment through My Aged Care. Unless you or another family member or friend have signed an Enduring Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship then I believe her GP is correct that he cannot discuss your mother without her consent. Given that you should have these in place prior to your mother becoming cognitively impaired, if these legal roles have not already been organised, I would strongly recommend that you do so. This will ensure that your mother’s best interests are respected when she is no longer able to make decisions for herself. In the meantime are you able to visit the GP with your mother to discuss her care needs going forward? I know from my own experience that having these conversations with an elderly parent, particularly one who has been so independent is not easy and is a path that has to be trod carefully. Hopefully her GP can assist you with this discussion. You can read about these decision making roles at the link below. What are the types of substitute decision makers? | agedcare101 I think you are very wise thinking ahead with regards to your mother’s future accommodation needs. Whilst Home Care packages range from level 1 to level 4 ( maximum assistance) and people can increase their home care package level as their care needs demand, it is sometimes not enough support and then an aged care home may become necessary. It is always worthwhile starting to have a look at these options so that you are prepared should the situation arise. Unfortunately you hear so often about a formerly independent elderly person who becomes hospitalised after a fall, who then requires residential aged care with little time to find appropriate accommodation. This can be useful for all. Make a short list and then visit the homes. You can put your mother’s name on a wait list with no obligation as an insurance should she need that level of care in the future. Also be aware that to enter residential aged care an Income and Assets form should be lodged with the Department Human Services to clarify what level of government financial support your mother would be eligible for. This also takes a bit of time to organise. This is different to the Income assessment required for a Home Care package. You can read about all of this on this website. I hope this helps,
Kind regards Jill