Step 3.1

What is the Aged Care Assessment Team?

Aged Care Assessment Team

To receive a Home Care Package you must first be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team. This is a time for you to speak up and to say what help you really want and need.  

The very very first step to receiving Government Subsidized home care is to call My Aged Care and create a home care ‘client record’.  This is easily done by calling the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800200 422.  The contact centre staff will ask some questions over the phone as an initial screening to help form a picture of your needs and care arrangements and to determine the next steps. The contact centre staff will then seek your consent to register you as a client and create a personalized client record. 

The client record is a central up to date record that helps facilitate and collect information about you, the client.  This helps reduce the number of times you need to tell your story.  When you call the My Aged Care contact centre, whoever takes the call will better be in the position to assist you. Once this has been done, and if you are ready, the contact centre staff will then organize for a face to face assessment.  This is all done free of charge. 

The assessment is a comprehensive process that is focused on getting the right solution for you, whether your needs be physical, medical, psychological, cultural, social or restorative. 

Working through your goals and preferences will help you make informed choices about the services and assistance you would like to receive. Two sets of ears are always handier than one so it is a good idea to have someone else with you.  

There are no right or wrong answers, so just be as honest as possible. Some questions you could consider are:

  • What is important to me (if this includes things like living in a clean house, or doing the gardening, of having clean windows then mention this.) 
  • What do I most enjoy doing 
  • What makes my life enjoyable and meaningful 
  • What’s good right now and what’s not? 
  • What’s missing?  What would I have if I could choose anything?
  • What sort of things might help to improve my day to day life? 
  • What support do I need to remain safe and well? 
  • Where and when do I want that support to be available? 
  • How do I want to be supported and by whom?


  • How much could I be asked to contribute to my care costs?

Your local ACAT member can be a nurse, a social worker or another health care professional.  He or she will make a time to come to your home and talk to you about how you're managing with day to day life.  They will also explain how the assessment works and can give you information about home care services in your area.

Annie Donaldson

agedcare101 Registered Nurse and Carer

The ACAT member might ask your permission to talk to your doctor about your medical history before meeting with you.  All information will be treated confidentially. 

Once you have been approved for a package and received the results you will be placed on the national prioritization system in order to receive that approved package level.

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A special thanks to our contributors

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.