• February 02 2022

Aged care assessment – how it works

When you or a loved one is ready to move into an aged care home it can be a stressful time, packed with a wide variety of emotions. Often the need for aged care assistance is triggered by hospitalisation or a medical emergency of some kind. 

How to get started

It can be difficult to know how to get the process started and where to go for help. There is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet and the process is different in every Australian state. 


Once you begin looking into residential aged care options, you’re sure to see the acronym ACAT used here and there. It’s important to understand ACAT and how it works – so here’s what you need to know. 

What is ACAT?

The acronym ‘ACAT’ stands for Aged Care Assessment Teams. ACAT’s role is to determine the type of care elderly people need. ACAT is made up of doctors, nurses and social workers who can assess and make recommendations for the best type of care package you or your loved one needs. 

What is an ACAT assessment? 

To be connected with government subsidised services you will need to have an ACAT assessment which will take into account mental health, medical, psychological, physical and social needs. It’s suitable for elderly people who are looking for help at home, short-term care or care in a residential aged care in Queensland. 

Some of the main duties of the Aged Care Assessment Team include: 

  • managing referrals for aged care
  • assessments 
  • creating support plans
  • recommending services and care under the Aged Care Act of 1997 or CHSP Services
  • noting approvals for care under the Aged Care Act of 1997
  • referring individuals for services
  • reviewing and updating client records, support plans and assessment outcomes. 

The role of ACAT isn’t to recommend individual aged care homes. 

How to apply for an ACAT assessment

Anyone 65 and over (50 years or older for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people) are eligible for an ACAT assessment. 

You can apply for an Aged Care Assessment online, it will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes. In the form you’ll be asked to share personal details and receive information about the assessment. You will need your Medicare Card to complete the application. 

Remember, if you’re not computer savvy and need help, you can ask a friend or family member to fill out the form on your behalf. 

Once the form has been submitted, if you’re eligible, you will meet with a team member in about two to six weeks for a face-to-face ACAT assessment. 

What happens during an ACAT assessment? 

While the ACAT assessment might appear complicated, it’s actually a straight-forward process. While it’s a formal assessment, you are encouraged to ask questions and speak freely throughout the process. 

The assessment itself will take place wherever you or your loved one is, which could be in your home or even in hospital. If you need it, a support person can be by your side during the assessment. If English isn’t your first language, you also have the option of having an interpreter on hand. 

It’s important to have your medical records available as well as other details such as your GP’s information, information about any other care you are receiving, referrals from specialists or any questions you may have about ACAT. 

What information will the team need during your assessment? 

To provide advice on the level of care you or your loved one needs, a team member will chat about your medical history and assess your physical function. Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it seems and it’s only a simple series of tests that determine your independence and mobility level. 

The team will need to know:

  • Any health concerns you may have. 
  • If you currently receive any support.
  • How you manage caring for yourself.
  • How you carry out tasks around your home. 
Eligible for aged care

If you’ve been deemed eligible, you can begin looking at aged care homes right away. Looking for residential aged care on the Gold Coast? You can arrange a home visit to one of HillView Care facilities and we’ll show you around and answer any questions you may have. 

Need more information?

You can contact My Aged Care for more information or the team at HillView Aged Care can also help with your assessment

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