Before a client record can be set up, the client needs to give permission. If you are the client – and you are looking for aged care for yourself - that’s easy, just continue reading ‘How to get a client record’ below.
If you are not the client
If you are not the client – for example, if you are a spouse, relative or other carer or friend calling on behalf of the client - you will need to show that you have the person’s permission to act on their behalf. See 2.2 Legal permission to act on someone’s behalf
At this stage, if the person who is the client is there with you, they can give their verbal permission to get the process started.
If the client has dementia or other another health issue that limits their ability to understand the process or give permission, you will need to have legal permission to act on their behalf 2.3 Legal permission to act on someone’s behalf.
How can I get a client record?
You can do this in two main ways:
1. Call the My Aged Care Contact Centre yourself
You can phone the My Aged Care contact centre directly on 1800 200 422. It is staffed by real people, who will answer the phone, ask you some questions and take you through the process of creating a client record.
The My Aged Care contact centre is open from 8am - 8pm Monday to Friday and from 10am - 2pm Saturday, everywhere in Australia.
2. Ask someone from an aged care home (nursing home) to help you
If you have already started talking to an aged care home (nursing home) that you are interested in, a staff member from that home may also help you set this up.
What to expect
Remember, in the aged care system, the person who needs the care is referred to as ‘the client’.
An explanation of the process
The My Aged Care Contact Centre staff member will explain the process they will undertake with you and ask for your permission to create a client record. If you creating a client record on behalf of someone else, that person will need to give their permission or you will have to provide other evidence that you have permission to do so.
In any case, you will need to provide some personal information about the client, including:
- full name
- address and contact details
- medicare number
A series of questions
The My Aged Care Contact Centre staff member will ask some questions and conduct a simple screening process over the phone to get a basic understanding of your situation and needs. It’s a bit like seeing the ‘triage nurse’ in the Accidents and Emergency section of a hospital.
The questions will include:
- any current or future health concerns
- how well you are managing at home with your daily life
- any safety concerns you have - personal ones such as fainting or falling or getting hurt or other more general ones, such as security at home or concerns about abuse
- any forms of support or help you currently have in place
About 20-30 minutes of your time
The process of creating your client record could take up to 30 minutes or so, depending on:
- your particular situation
- how much information you have on hand (or need to supply later) when you speak with the My Aged Care Contact Centre
- how many questions you ask
A referral for an assessment of your needs
There are different types of services available and you will need to have an assessment by a specially trained person to work out which types of services will best meet your needs. You need to have this assessment before you can access any aged care services. Based on your discussion with the My Aged Care Contact Centre staff member, you will be referred for the right sort of assessment.
Types of assessment
There are two main types of assessment you can be referred for. See Tab 3: Getting assessed
Home support assessment
This is to identify what kinds of services might help you to stay independent and well at home. This kind of assessment will be recommended if you have less intensive support needs and could manage by getting some straightforward help at home.
This is for people with more complex support needs at home or who may need to move to an aged care home (nursing home). This assessment needs to be done by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) - or an Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) - if you are in Victoria. It is usually referred to as an ACAT or ACAS assessment.
- Your basic client record will be created during this first contact with the My Aged Care Contact Centre. From here onwards, your client record will become the central file for all your details and interactions with the aged care system.
- You will be given your client number.An accommodation cost
- You will be advised of the next steps – usually this will be your referral to have the assessment see Tab 3: Getting assessed