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Aged Care in Victoria
Aged Care in Victoria
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Frequently asked questions about accessing services

Page content: Aged Care Assessment Services (ACAS) | Carer assistance | Eyes | Feet | Financial advice | What are State Concessions? | Free train trip | Home & community care | Home maintenance & Renovations | Influenza immunisation | Local Government | Personal alarms | Senior citizens clubs | Victorian Seniors Festival | Pensioner concession card | Taxis | Teeth | Victorian seniors card | Wills

Aged Care Assessment Services (ACAS)

My elderly mother had a fall at home last week. Every time I go to see her, there seems to be something else that she is having difficulty with. What should I do?
Contact your local government’s aged services team. They will be able to advise you of local government services available that may be able to assist. If the issues are more complex the council staff can refer you to the Aged Care Assessment Services (ACAS).

The Aged Care Assessment Service makes assessments in a person's home to make sure they gain access to the care services appropriate to their needs. They are able to refer to a wide range of service providers, including Commonwealth Aged Care Packages (CACPs), Home and Community Care (HACC) services and residential aged care (nursing home) options.

Do I need a referral for an Aged Care Assessment Service?
ACAS will accept referrals from any source. So you can refer yourself, be referred through a GP or any other service provider, such as a local government Assessment Officer.

How do I make contact with the Aged Care Assessment Service?
You can find your local Aged Care Assessment Service on the Department of Health and Ageing website.

Will I have to pay for an Aged Care Assessment Services assessment?
No. Aged Care Assessment Services are free of charge.

Carer assistance

Can I get help to care for my partner?
A number of organisations can offer practical help to carers such as personal care, home help or food services. You can ring the Carer advisory line on 1800 242 636 to get details of the services available to you. (Carer's Australia website).

How can I get a rest from caring?
Each region in Victoria has a Carer Respite Service. You can arrange respite care on a short, emergency or longer term basis by ringing your closest Carer Respite Service on 1800 059 059. A Carer Support Worker can help you decide what will work and put the services in place.

I need help looking after my partner. Who can I talk to?
The Victorian Government, through its Victorian Strategy for Carers and the Commonwealth Government, have jointly funded nine regional carer support and respite coordination centres through the National Respite for Carers program. To organise planned in-home, out-of-home, residential and flexible respite, as well as emergency respite, telephone free call 1800 059 059 to be connected to your nearest regional service. The Commonwealth Carer Respite Centres in Victoria can be found at the Department of Health and Ageing website.

My elderly mother will be living with me soon. Can I get any financial help for her care?
Yes, there are two forms of regular payment available to carers through Centrelink (Centrelink website) or phone the Centrelink number for Carer payments and Carer allowance on 132 717.

Carer Allowance: a supplementary payment for people who care for an adult with a disability, severe medical condition or who is frail aged at home.

Carer Payment: an income support payment for people who cannot support themselves through participation in the workforce while caring for someone with a disability, severe medical condition or who is frail aged.

There may be other financial assistance available for specific purposes. More information is available on the following web page - www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/payments-for-carers. Carers Victoria operates a Carer advisory line - 1800 242 636, 9am-5pm Monday to Friday where the Carer advisory line worker on duty can give you more information about carer's payments and other financial assistance.

Eyes

Where can I get eye examinations and spectacles?
Free eye examinations and low-cost glasses are available for pension card holders from the Australian College of Optometry for metropolitan residents and for people living in the country through the Victorian Eyecare Service. The Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital provides a similar service for those people with medical eye problems.

Free eye examinations only are provided for you and your family by optometrists who bulk bill Medicare. For further details see the Victorian Eyecare Service section.

Feet

Where can I get my feet attended to?
Check with your local community health centre, your general practitioner or the listing of Podiatrists on the Australian Podiatry Association website. A fee is usually charged for these services.

Financial advice

Where can I get basic financial information?
Centrelink operates the Financial Information Service which provides independent, free and confidential services. The service can provide advice on dealing with a broad range of financial issues.

To make an appointment, or get more information about the Financial Information Service, you can telephone:

  • 132 300 - to make an appointment, or to request booklets, leaflets and fact sheets about investment products
  • 136 357 - to find out more about seminars and to make a seminar booking.

What are State Concessions?

State Concessions are designed to improve the affordability of key services to pension card holders and low income households. Areas covered by State Concessions include energy, water and sewerage, municipal rates and transport. Visit the Concessions page of the Department of Human Services for details.

Free train trip

Are there special transport fare concessions for Victorian Seniors Card holders?
Yes, there are number of transport fare concessions available; for full details visit the Seniors online Victoria website under Transport benefits for Victorian Seniors.

Home & community care

My mother lives in her own home but is very frail and needs help with personal care, shopping and caring for her home. Where can she go to get help?
For a range of home and community services contact your local council, community health centre, migrant resource centre, ethnic or ATSI organisation, carer support group or district nursing service.

Home maintenance & renovations

Where can I get financial assistance for home maintenance/renovations?
The Home Renovation Service conducts free home inspections and provides condition reports that include an estimate of the cost of works.
For free Home Safety Inspections call 9815 1900 or 1300 136 513 (funded by the Department of Human Services).

The service also provides home renovation loans. The service is available to people over 60 years of age or people who have a disability or a household caring for someone with a disability. Telephone 1800 134 872 toll free.

The Home and Community Care Program provides assistance with home maintenance tasks necessary to maintain the security and safety of a consumer’s home, such as the installation of ramps and rails. Although a fee is charged, people who are unable to pay will not be denied a service. To be eligible for the service, people need to be frail aged, have a disability or be a household caring for someone who is frail or has a disability. Contact your local council.

Influenza immunisation

When and where can I get a free flu injection?
Have the influenza vaccine in the early months of autumn, ideally between March and May. If you have missed that period, immunisation is still worthwhile as late as August. The vaccine takes effect in about two weeks and then protects you right through the influenza season. (Also ask about the pneumococcal pneumonia immunisation).

Both of these vaccines are available from your local doctor, free to:

  • Everyone 65 years or older; and
  • All aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders over 50 years of age.

While the vaccines are free, you may be charged a fee for the doctor’s time.

Local Government

How do I contact my local government?
The following link will take you the with website where you can find every local government in Victoria. Local governments provide a range of community services that may be of use to you including the Home and Community Care services, pet registration, waste removal, and rate payments.

Personal alarms

What is a Personal Alert?
Personal Alert Victoria (PAV) is a personal monitoring service that responds to calls for assistance and is funded by the Victorian Government through the Department of Health. PAV enhances the confidence of frail, older people and people with disabilities, who are isolated and vulnerable, to live independently in their own home by providing contact 24 hours a day.

To be eligible for PAV you must be assessed by one of the designated PAV assessment agencies. For more information about assessment for PAV please contact one of the following agencies:

Senior citizens clubs

How do I join my local Senior Citizens Club?
Call your local council for details on the senior citizens clubs available in your area. Many local governments provide transports services to these clubs. Senior Citizens Clubs are good places to meet other people in your area to share in social activities and outings.

Victorian Seniors Festival

When is the Victorian Seniors Festival?
The 2013 Victorian Seniors Festival will run from Sunday 6 October 2013 to Sunday 13 October 2013. The Victorian Seniors Festival (VSF) is a week-long celebration for seniors held each year. It includes hundreds of free or low cost events, forums and activities, across Victoria, as well as free public transport for Victorian Seniors Card holders.

Pensioner concession card

How can I get a Commonwealth Pensioner concession card
To apply for the Commonwealth Pensioner concession card telephone Centrelink on 13 23 00 or visit your local Centrelink Customer Service Centre. Further information is available from the Centrelink website, on the following page www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/pensioner-concession-card.

What does a Pensioner concession card entitle me to and who can have one?
To qualify applicants must be an Australian resident, living in Australia and be receiving the Aged Pension or other payment. More information on eligibility is available - www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/centrelink/pensioner-concession-card/eligibility.

A Pensioner Concession Card entitles you to reduced-cost medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. You may also be eligible for various concessions from the Commonmwealth Government - www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/centrelink/pensioner-concession-card/benefits

What is the difference between a Seniors Card and a Seniors Health Card?
Seniors Card is a retail discount card administered by the Victorian Government. Seniors Card holders can also take advantage of the discounted Sixty Plus fare on the Met and half price fares on nominated off-peak V/Line services.

A Seniors Health Care Card is means tested and gives access to subsidised pharmaceuticals.

Taxis

How can I get low cost taxi fares?
The Multi Purpose Taxi Program provides half price fares for people with a severe, permanent disability who cannot use public transport. People must make an application, which is completed by a medical practitioner. Telephone 1800 638 802.

Teeth

Where can I get dental assistance?
Subsidised dental treatment is available through Community Dental Clinics, some Hospital Dental Clinics and the Royal Dental Hospital. A patient contribution is required for all adult dental services. Free dental care for children is available through the School Dental Service.

Victorian seniors card

What is the Victorian Seniors Card?
The Seniors Card is a Victorian Government initiative, in partnership with the private sector. Cardholders are able to obtain a wide range of discounted goods and services from participating businesses and retailers including travel, accommodation, hospitality, entertainment, leisure and further education.

What is the eligibility for a Seniors Card?
Any permanent resident of Victoria, who is aged 60 years and over, who is retired or not working more than 35 hours per week is eligible to have a Seniors Card. There is no income or assets tests, and people may apply irrespective of the age or employment status of a partner. For full details of the program visit the Seniors Card web page at Seniors online Victoria website.

Commonwealth Seniors health care card

    How can I get a Commonwealth seniors health care Card?
    To be eligible:

  • have reached age pension age (see below) but not qualify for a payment from us or the Department of Veterans' Affairs
  • provide us with your and your partner's tax file numbers, or be granted an exemption from doing so, and
  • have an annual adjusted taxable income* of less than:

    • $50 000 (singles)
    • $80 000 (couples, combined), or
    • $100 000 (couples, combined, for couples separated by illness or respite care or where one partner is in prison).

*This limit is increased by $639.60 for each dependent child you care for.

What does a Commonwealth Seniors health care card entitle me to and who can have one?

Helps eligible older Australians with the cost of prescription medicine under PBS, Australian government funded medical services, and access to state, territory and local government concessions. Information on eligibility is available - www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/centrelink/commonwealth-seniors-health-card/eligibility

What is the difference between a Seniors Card and a Commonwealth Seniors health care card?
A Commonwealth Seniors health care card is means tested and gives access to subsidised pharmaceuticals.

Victorian Seniors Card is a retail discount card administered by the Victorian Government. Seniors Card holders can also obtain Concession fares on public transport throughout all states and territories of Australia. More info - www.seniorsonline.vic.gov.au/Home/Seniors-Card/Get-Discounts-and-Benefits/Transport-Benefits.aspx

Seniors Myki
Seniors using Myki receive a number of benefits such as concession fares on public transport during the week and free travel on Saturdays and Sundays in two consecutive zones in metropolitan Melbourne (zones 1 and 2) and on regional town bus services. For more more information - www.myki.com.au/About-myki/Seniors/Seniors

Wills

Where can I get a free will made?
Your nearest Community Legal Centre can provide you with advice on preparing a will, changing the terms of a will, challenging the terms of a will, and probate.

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Last updated: 14 February, 2013
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