How do you get through the aged care system? 1.1

Making your way through the aged care system

Welcome to your 9 step journey to find an aged care home (nursing home). 



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We’ve set it out this way because getting yourself or a loved one into an aged care home can be complicated – though it doesn’t have to be if you take it a step at a time.  But give yourself some time because it can take several weeks to get everything done.

The federal government has a huge role in aged care.  For example they fund aged care homes and they make sure the homes are up to standard.  Importantly for you, the government also subsidises some of your costs – so they need to know details such as what you need in terms of care and how much you can afford to pay.

Top Tip

The federal government has a huge role in aged care. Importantly for you, the government also subsidises some of your costs.

The bureaucracy can seem frustrating at times, but we are here to help you get through the hoops.  The key is that you need to register yourself with the government department, which you can do through My Aged Care or by dialing 1800 200 422 

They will give you a client number and once you have this then you are on the way. 

One major barrier to getting through the system may be not knowing who is legally capable of making the vital decisions.  It may be that mum or dad is not capable, in which case it will be up to other family (or friends or guardians) to get the legal power.  We will deal in detail with these big questions in the next steps.

Before that, here are some key facts which might help.

  • Aged care homes (nursing homes) are places where you can live and get the level of care and assistance that you can’t really get while living at home.  This includes 24-hour nursing care from qualified staff, managing your medicines, continence care and treatment and care of wounds, etc. 
  • Aged care homes aren’t only for permanent residents.


  • Aged care homes also provide temporary accommodation so that carers can have a break (up to 63 days a year), plus they can be a half-way point if you have been in hospital but you aren’t quite up to going back home (up to 84 days a year).