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Transitioning to Residential Care After Stroke: Navigating the Path to Support and Rehabilitation
Moving into residential care after a stroke is a significant decision that can provide individuals with the necessary support, rehabilitation, and assistance in their recovery journey.
Residential aged care may be recommended after a stroke. Residential aged care is for older people who have care needs that can’t be met at home. Aged care homes provide 24-hour care, helping with all aspects of daily life.
Cleaning, cooking and laundry are done by staff. Staff are also available to help people with bathing, dressing, eating and going to the toilet as needed. Nursing services are provided, and GPs visit regularly. Social and recreational activities are also part of life in aged care homes.
Aged care homes are monitored, approved and funded by the Australian Government. Only an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) can approve a person for residential aged care.
If you are in hospital, your treating team will let you know if they think residential aged care is the best discharge option. A family meeting is often held, to discuss the person’s care needs and why the team is recommending residential aged care. This is a chance to talk through any concerns, with everyone present.
The hospital will arrange the ACAT assessment. The hospital social worker will provide advice and support throughout the process. It will be up to a family member to visit homes, and to decide which ones to apply to.
If you are living at home, the first step is to contact My Aged Care. My Aged Care is an Australian Government service that provides advice on all aspects of aged care. Their booklet “Five steps to entry into an aged care home” explains the process well. My Aged Care can provide details about local services such as the ACAT and aged care homes.
Visit their website at www.myagedcare.gov.au, or call 1800 200 422 between 8am and 8pm on weekdays or between 10am and 2pm on Saturdays (closed Sundays and public holidays).
Aged care homes are not designed for younger people and are definitely a last resort. If you are in hospital, the treating team will investigate all available options before considering aged care. If you are under 65, living at home and want information about your options, visit the National Disability Insurance Scheme www.ndis.gov.au or call them on 1800 800 110. They can advise you if the NDIS is operating in your area and if not, who else to contact.