Aged Care Assessment (ACAT assessment)

What is an Aged Care Assessment (ACAT or ACAS assessment)?

An ACAT assessment (aged care assessment) is an assessment organised by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT, or ACAS in Victoria) and is required for a person who needs to be approved for Government-funded services including; a nursing home (aged care home), home care, residential aged care, transition care or respite care. An ACAT assessment is used to make a recommendation for the type and level of care that will best meet your needs.

You do not need an ACAT assessment for aged care services that are not funded by the Federal Government. However, most nursing homes (aged care homes) are government-subsidised so you will still need an ACAT assessment.

An ACAT assessment looks at a range of factors including:

  • your health and medical history
  • your physical requirements, such as how well you can get around and do everyday activities
  • your psychological needs, for example, how you are feeling and whether you have experienced depression or mental illness
  • your social needs, including family and friends and support networks
  • any special needs or concerns, for instance, religious and cultural beliefs, sexual preferences or language issues

There are two ways to get an ACAT/ACAS assessment:

  • call my aged care contact centre directly
  • get a referral from your GP or a health care professional

It is a free assessment, but you will need a my aged care client record to set up an assessment.

It can take up to six weeks to get an ACAT assessment depending on how urgent your situation is.

An ACAT assessment is undertaken by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).  This team usually includes a nurse, plus another healthcare worker such as a physiotherapist, occupational therapist or social worker. Usually only one member of the ACAT team will visit you for the assessment, which takes place wherever you are.

An ACAT assessment usually takes between 45 minutes and 75 minutes. It’s normal to feel worried about ‘getting assessed’, but you will be able to ask questions and won’t be forced to make any decisions on the day. You can also have a family member or friend with you.

The ACAT team will complete a report after the meeting. It generally takes up to two weeks for you to receive a copy, which you will need to proceed with your search for a nursing home (aged care home).

It will list the services you have been approved for and any conditions they come with, and the reasons for this decision.

You will also be given information about service providers in your area.

If you are not satisfied with the results of your ACAT assessment, you can make a complaint through my aged care.

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