Over 50 people attended our last meeting to hear Erica White, a member of the Aged Care Assessment Team at SCGH, talk about ACAT assessments and the complications of the process. Teams consist of medical, nursing and allied health professionals, and they assess eligibility for Government funding in four broad areas – Permanent Residential Care (where costs vary between facilities); Residential Respite Care (which provides temporary admission to a care facility on a short term basis); Home Care Packages (at one of 4 levels from level 1 at $9,000 pa to level 4 at $52,000 pa via MyAgedCare – MAC); & Flexible Care (short term restorative care to slow down progression into full care). Mostly one must be 65 or older to qualify for an assessment, or 50+ years old in certain demographics, and arrangements can be made by phoning MAC, going to their website, or via your GP or Specialist. Those who go to MAC direct will be assessed at either low or moderate/high levels, with the former being referred to a home support programme through the Regional Assessment Service, and the latter going to the local ACAT. ACAT assessments involve assessors coming to one’s home and delving into a wide range of topics, after which a decision is made about care needs including temporary home care packages. Then one lands up on a waiting list prior to being admitted to a permanent care facility. If one is receiving ACAT services but needs to go to hospital, the ACAT side will be suspended pro tem. A short question time rounded off a very informative  session.