What are the ACAT and RAS Assessments?

27 October, 2021

Finances are often a concern when you start looking into aged care options. But now is not the time to get discouraged! There are government funding options that may be available to you. 

If you are interested in receiving more affordable aged care, you can take an assessment run by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). They will review your care needs and lifestyle to make recommendations on your support plan and approve you for government-funded care packages. 

It can be daunting going through this process, so to help you feel more prepared, Odyssey has created a guide on ACAT, eligibility criteria, and what to expect in this two-part assessment.


What is ACAT?

The ACAT is a team of medical, nursing, and allied health professionals who assess the physical, psychological, medical, restorative, cultural, and social needs of frail older people and help the client, their carers, and families to access appropriate levels of support. This assessment process will identify and potentially approve individuals for support packages at home, on a short-term basis, or within aged care facilities.


What is RAS?

The RAS is for older people who have low-level needs and is a face-to-face Assessment undertaken by a trained Home Support Assessor. Once they understand your aged care service needs, the Assessor will refer you to appropriate Commonwealth Home Support Programme services. 


How do you know if you need an aged care assessment?

 If you are 65+ with multiple health issues impeding on activities of daily living then you are most likely suitable for an aged care assessment. 

For the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP), you can be eligible if you are Australian aged 65+ or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50+ and:

  • Require assistance for daily living and want to remain independent at home; or
  • Need planned respite services, to provide your regular carers with a break from their usual caring duties

To be eligible for the CHSP Assistance with Care and Housing (ACH) Sub-Program, you must be within the same age range stated above and:

  • You are on a low income, homeless, or at risk of being homeless.

You can find out more about these programs here.


How do you organise an aged care assessment?

The aged care assessment is a two-part process. It’s important to note you don’t have to go through this alone as the ACAT team allows you to bring a family member, friend, or carer for support.


1. Eligibility Assessment

The first step is a 10-minute assessment either online or on a call with the My Aged Care team. This stage will cover questions about your personal details, health, any support you currently receive, and how you are managing daily life. You will need your Medicare details ready.

If you require a support person to complete the application for you, they can do so with your permission.

This will determine whether the RAS team (Regional Assessment Service) or ACAT team will be allocated to assess your needs.


2. Face-to-Face Assessment

The next stage is the face-to-face assessment. This will be a comprehensive assessment with the RAS or ACAT team, discussing: 

  • Your health history and lifestyle;
  • Tasks you are confident in completing and what you struggle with;
  • Any referrals from your doctor; and
  • If you are currently receiving support, including if this care is provided by friends or family.

With this information, RAS or ACAT will investigate which services best suit your needs and what services are currently available in your local area.


Assessment Outcome

To find out the outcome of your ACAT or RAS assessment, you can log in to your My Aged Care account. Your outcome will include a confirmation if you have been approved for services if eligible, which services you have been recommended, and your support plan. 

Post assessment, there can be lengthy waitlist periods where you will have to wait for your approved funding to become available. The proposed wait times are based on your priority rating and can be discussed with My Aged Care (1800 200 422). 

It’s important to note when you are offered your funding, you will only have a short span of time where you can choose a service provider before your government-funded support will be unavailable.


How can Odyssey help you?

At Odyssey Lifestyle Care Communities, we are passionate about helping our residents receive the best possible care at the best possible prices. Our charge rates are competitive as per industry standards, which increases the sustainability of your package.

Our expert staff is happy to work with your current care providers should you choose to stay with them. Odyssey is also able to provide 24/7 at-cost care by our experienced Registered Nurse-led nursing team, which can be funded via your package or privately billed. 

If you are looking into your aged care accommodation options, consider our Aged Care Assist service. It is a free and comprehensive service designed to help you find the most suitable choices in aged care. Whether you are looking into joining Odyssey’s Community or not, the goal is to assist in guiding you through the decision-making process.