- If your aged care home isn't meeting your needs, you can transfer to a new facility
- Moving back home may require you to make modifications to your home or put supports in place to meet your needs
- You will need to give your aged care home 14 days notice if you intend to move to a new aged care facility
If you decide to leave an aged care home, this could include moving back home with appropriate home care services to assist you, moving in with family, or transferring to a new aged care home.
There are many reasons why you may decide to move out.
For example, you may have needed the 24/7 support because of health reasons but your health has improved enough that you will be able to manage at home again. Or sometimes your health may get worse and you require a facility that provides specific care to meet your needs or you realise that you would benefit greatly from a culturally specific home.
You may even find that the home you moved into just doesn't have the vibe you were looking for or you want to be closer to family and friends.
The good thing about aged care is that you are not locked into the nursing home you first move into, you are more than welcome to make changes when you want to.
Moving back home
During the first few years of COVID-19, many residents left their aged care home and moved back to their own home or their family home for a time due to issues arising from the pandemic.
Similarly, you are able to move back at home at any time but it's important you have the right supports and services in place to ensure you can live safely and comfortably at home and in the community.
There are a number of things you should consider when moving back into your home or your family's home.
For instance, is the house safe for an older person? Many houses may have lots of steps or inclines to get around, or the garden around the house may be dangerous. You may require the house to be modified to make it more functional and safer for an older person.
Home modifications like handrails and hobless showers can make wet areas a lot safer for you and your family.
Additionally, it is likely that if you moved into aged care, then you require some form of care or assistance, especially if you are living at home alone.
This home assistance could include help maintaining your garden or home, nursing care or assistance making food, or someone to make sure you stay connected in your community.
Some home care providers will be able to assist you with transitioning back into the community after living in residential aged care.
If you are moving in with family, then you will also need to set boundaries about care they will be providing and house rules to make sure everyone feels comfortable with the new living arrangements.
You can learn more about living with family in our article, 'Living with the kids: What to consider before moving in'.
Transferring between nursing homes
If you still need the care and support you are provided in a nursing home, but don't believe your current facility is the right fit, then you may decide to move facilities.
The first step is searching for another home that suits your needs. If you are in a Government funded facility and you want to continue receiving financial assistance and benefits from the Commonwealth, you will need to look for another Government funded facility. You can also consider private aged care options if you are willing to pay for your care yourself.
Make a shortlist of facilities you think you would like to live in - and you can take your time searching for a new aged care home as you currently have a nursing home that is providing care.
Try to visit the new nursing home to get a feeling for the atmosphere of the home and ensure you like the rooms and facilities on offer.
Once you have decided on your new facility, you will need to fill in an application for the nursing home and go through the admission process. If the facility currently has a waiting list, you may need to wait until a spot is made available.
You will need to negotiate with the new aged care home about the fees you will pay and the services and care you require. It can be handy for you to provide your current care plan to the new facility so they can get an idea of what care you require and make changes to suit your needs.
Additionally, you will need to organise an accommodation agreement, which needs to be provided to you within 28 days of agreeing to the arrangement. However, you must have already agreed to the cost of the accommodation before you move in.
You will need to contact My Aged Care to notify them that you are transferring to a new provider, they will "reactivate" your referral code for the new facility you are moving to.
When you receive confirmation that you have a room, the referral code has been accepted, and a start date for moving in, you will need to provide at least seven days written notice to your current facility before transferring to the new aged care home.
It can be a good idea to discuss with your current provider about what their transfer processes are during this time.
If you have only just moved into your current facility and want to move somewhere else, you can move out straight away as long as it is within 14 days of you moving in.
Your former aged care home will need to pay you back your lump sum, if that is how you paid, also known as a Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD).
If you entered the home before the 1 July 2014, your lump sum may be paid directly to the new aged care provider. If you entered your current home after 1 July 2014, you will receive your accommodation payment back once you leave.
When you receive the balance of your RAD back from the facility, you will be left with the funds that haven't been used yet.
You should receive the balance of your lump sum within 14 days of notice. The provider will also need to pay you interest until they send back the lump sum within that 14 day period. If they don't pay you within that time, the interest rate will be higher on the lump sum until they do pay.
Can I be asked to leave an aged care home?
The Government wants to ensure that all residents feel secure in the nursing home they live in and in most cases you should be able to live as long as you wish in your chosen aged care facility.
However, there are cases when you may be asked to leave and need to move to a new aged care home, this includes:
- Closure of the facility you live in
- The facility believes they can not cater or provide the support that suits your needs, including accommodation or if you recover and have no use for the services in a home
- You have broken the agreement you made to the facility about personal responsibilities, including serious damage to the property, a staff member, other resident or person
- You leave the facility for more than a week (this does not include approved leave or in an emergency)
- The facility has not received payment from you for over 42 days even though you are able to fix the issue (you cannot be removed from the facility if you are experiencing financial hardship)
If you have been asked to leave an aged care home, you will receive 14 days notice.
However, you can be reassured that you won't be removed from the facility without appropriate accommodation in place that caters to your needs and is financially viable to you.
What reasons do you have for moving aged care facilities? Tell us in the comments below.