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Preparing to move into Aged Care

Once you have been offered a place in an aged care home, you can start preparing to move. A few things to consider include organising your medical and financial matters, and who you'll need to tell about your move.

Who should I tell about my move?

The following checklist includes people or organisations that you might want to tell about your move and give your new address to. There may also be others you'll need to inform, if, for example, you're still maintaining a home.

Family and friends
  • your family
  • your carer
  • your friends
  • your neighbours.
Health professionals
  • your doctor
  • other health professionals you see regularly such as a dentist
  • your community nurse
  • your pharmacist.
If you need to change doctors, you can ask to have your medical history sent to your new doctor. It's also a good idea to keep track of this and make a note of your current medical treatments and medication so you can discuss this with your new aged care home as part of your care plan.

Help at home support
  • your gardener or lawn mowing person
  • your cleaner or home help
  • Meals on Wheels and other support services
  • your home care package provider.
Government departments and authorities
  • Department of Veterans' Affairs
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • your local office of the Australian Electoral Commission
  • Medicare
  • Department of Human Services
  • the roads and transport authority in your state or territory (for your driver's licence).
If you're a pensioner or part-pensioner, your financial circumstances might change, for example, if you pay a bond. If this happens, be sure to advise either the Department of Veterans' Affairs or Department of Human Services so they can update your income and asset details.

Finances and insurance
  • your medical insurance company
  • your superannuation company
  • your bank, building society or credit union.
Others
  • your local post office
  • other aged care homes you've applied for, if you no longer wish to move there (although you might choose to keep your application open if you're still interested).

Can someone else help negotiate my care fees?

If you like, you can ask someone else to negotiate with the aged care provider about your care fees on your behalf. You or the person helping you will also need to organise things like how your fees and charges will be paid. You may also include this nominated person in your Resident Agreement.

You may also appoint someone to act on your behalf in relation to fees and charges matters with the Department of Social Services. To do this you need to complete an Appointment of a Nominee form, which you can print off or get from your aged care home. This person will receive letters from the Department about your fees and charges. If your nominated person does not hold power of attorney, both you and your nominee will receive letters from the Department.

What can I bring with me?

Your aged care home will already have most of the furniture and furnishings, such as beds, chairs, wardrobe, curtains and carpets, so you don't need to worry about these. Ask the home what you can bring with you, as each home has its own guidelines.

Some people like to bring their favourite films, books and music, a television, DVD player, radio or CD player, or a bedside light, small table or favourite chair. You can ask to see the room you're moving into so you know what will fit.

Ask your home about insurance of your valuables.

Electrical goods

For safety, you might need to have your electrical goods checked by an electrician before bringing them into the aged care home. Most homes require regular safety checks for electrical items. You will most likely have to pay for these safety checks, but since different homes have different requirements, make sure you ask about this before you move in.

Clothes

It's also a good idea to label your clothes with your name. If they will be washed by staff, your home might ask you to put name labels on anyway. You can do this yourself, or the home may offer a labelling service.

Will I have help moving in?

When you move, it might be a good idea to come at a quiet period of the day so the staff have more time to help you settle in. Ask your aged care home when the best time is. Your carer, your family members or a friend may also like to come with you and stay for a bit while you become more familiar with the place.

Make sure you also meet with the manager of your aged care home. Let them know if you need any help settling in. If you need any support, they should have information about services such as counselling or 'buddy systems' so you can settle in comfortably.

What if I can't move in straight away?

You have up to seven days to move into your aged care home after you have agreed to accept the place.

However, you are considered a resident of an aged care home as soon as you've accepted a place there, so you may be charged the basic daily fee and, if applicable, the income tested fee from this date even if you can't move in straight away. The Australian Government will also start providing payments to your aged care home from this date.

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