Aged Care Glossary

Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT)
An ACAT assessment is an assessment of your loved one’s care needs, which is carried out by one or more members of your local Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). ACAT members would visit you in your home or in hospital to talk with you about what services you may need and what is available in your area.

Accommodation Bond
Residents who have been deemed by Centrelink to have sufficient assets may be asked to pay a refundable bond. This works in the same way as any usual accommodation bond.

Accommodation Payments
On entering permanent residential aged care, you may be asked to make an accommodation payment. Only aged care homes that are certified can charge accommodation payments. This payment covers the day-to-day expenses of accommodation, facilities and services.

Accreditation Standards
The Accreditation Standards are standards, specified in the Aged Care Act 1997, stating that approved providers of publicly subsidised aged care homes must meet before they can receive public funding.

Age Pension
The Age Pension is a Centrelink payment, which ensures that people who have reached retirement age have income for their retirement.

Aged Care
Aged care is the personal care and/or nursing care provided to frail older Australians and their carers to facilitate independence, good health and wellbeing. Aged care is delivered through two main programs: residential aged care and community care.

Ageing In Place
Some aged care homes offer a broad range of specialised care options, which allows a person to remain in the same home even if their care needs increase. Ageing in place is the term used to describe this provision of care.

Allied Health Services
Allied health services include a range of therapies offered by qualified practitioners, such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech pathology to name a few.

Alzheimer’s Australia
Alzheimer’s Australia is the national peak body for people, carers and families living with dementia.

Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative illness that affects the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a build up of particular proteins in the brain. This build up blocks the brain cells and affects the ability to learn and remember. It is the most common form of dementia.

Cultural and identified needs
The Australian Government recognises that older people who live in rural and remote areas, who come from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, or have experienced certain life impacting circumstances such as war service or financial disadvantage, may have particular cultural and identified care needs. Programs and services have been established to address those needs.

Culturally appropriate care
Culturally appropriate care takes into account special needs arising from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Dementia
Dementia is the term used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses, which cause a progressive decline in the ability to remember, to think, and to learn. There are many types of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.

End of life care
End of life care or palliative care is care provided for people of all ages who have a life limiting illness, with little or no prospect of cure, and the primary aim is to achieve the best possible quality of life for the person and their family. Palliative care uses a holistic approach – managing pain and other symptoms, whilst also addressing the physical, emotional, cultural, social and spiritual needs of the person, their family and their carers. It focuses on ‘living’ well until death.

Level of care
Before a person is eligible to move into a Government-subsidised aged care home they must be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) to accurately assess what kind of additional care modules they will require from their facility. These may include support services (cleaning, laundry and meals; personal care services (help with dressing, eating, toileting, bathing and moving around); and allied health services (such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, recreational therapy and podiatry).

Nursing Home
‘Nursing home’ is the previous name for aged care homes that provide high level care, including accommodation services such as meals, laundry and room cleaning, and personal care. Medical needs are managed by nursing staff.

Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy is a health profession, which helps individuals, gain, or regain, skills, which are essential for that person’s happy, safe and meaningful existence. Occupational therapists are skilled in functional assessment and rehabilitation, promoting independence in tasks at home, work and in the community.

Palliative Care
Palliative care is care provided for people of all ages who have a life limiting illness, with little or no prospect of cure, and for whom the primary treatment goal is quality of life. Palliative care uses a holistic approach – managing pain and other symptoms, whilst also addressing the physical, emotional, cultural, social and spiritual needs of the person, their family and their carers. It focuses on ‘living’ well until death.

Quality Of Care
Quality of care refers to high quality care and accommodation consistent with best practice and provided in accordance with the individual care needs of residents.

Resident
If a person has care needs that can’t be met through community support, they may be eligible for a place in an aged care home. If they move into an aged care home, they are known as a resident of that home. It is at the discretion of an aged care home whether they accept a person into that home as a resident.

Residential Aged Care
Residential aged care is for older people who can no longer live at home. Australian Government-subsidised places are provided in aged care homes that are owned and operated by organisations that have the approval of the Australian Government to care for their residents. It is at the discretion of an aged care home whether they accept a person into that home as a resident.

Respite Care
Respite care is substitute care that can be arranged for planned breaks, regular weekly breaks, short holidays or for emergency situations such as family illness.