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Australia’s Aged Care Funding Instrument Defined

If you or a family member needs to make preparations for long term living, then consider looking into the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI). You might be wondering what this instrument has to do with your living arrangements and medical assistance. Look no further than right here for all you need to know about ACFI. 

What is the ACFI?

In Australia, the government funds a hefty amount of the total costs that go along with sustaining a residential elderly care home. Aged care homes are designed to fit individuals’ unique needs for support when they require extra help with daily living. How much the government will subsidize for the home is based upon the home’s evaluations of its residents and their healthcare and living necessities. The total amount that a hospital claims will affect how much the resident will pay in fees. 

If you are making end-of-life plans, then you are in the right place. If you are seeking long-term aged care accommodations, the people behind  arcare.com.au says with plenty of options, you can surely find the right one for you; just do your research well. Aging is not always the most comfortable time in people’s lives, so it is essential to find a residence where you will have all the support you need. 

How Does the ADFI Assess Residents?

Residents’ needs are assessed through a series of twelve questions that fall under the following categories: 

behavior

activities of daily living

complex healthcare

Residents are ranked on a scale of nil, low, medium, or high. The subsidy is a combined total of all three categories, which will evaluate the need for support based on specific qualities of the residents relating to the following: 

cognitive ability

wandering off

personal hygiene

mobility

nutrition

toileting

verbal and physical behavior

depression 

medication

How Can I Evaluate Myself? 

There is a long paperwork process involved in the ACFI assessment process to receive government funding for aged care. Keep in mind that this subsidy will not go directly to your pockets but will instead go to the assisted living or palliative care provider. You can be reassessed as many times as necessary if your condition changes. Assessments conducted by medical professionals do not expire until after three years. 

Make an ACFI claim by filing an application form. You can easily submit through an online claiming portal or by downloading the form and mailing it to Services Australia. 

Who Is in Charge of the Assessment? 

There’s a varied range of medical professionals that might handle your ACFI assessment. They could be nurses, psychiatrists, or other care coordinators. Each of these professionals will assess you based on their experience with you. For example, a nurse might be in charge of checking your mobility. If you’re known to wander or off, or if you avoid movement altogether, these will also be marked by a nurse. 

Every interaction you have with the medical professionals at your aged care home will play a small role in how much the government will subsidize your chosen home. Some accommodations will have a specific position for those who assess residents. Some will even hire a contractor to take the burden of the evaluation process completely out of their hands. Regardless, the higher the need, the more subsidy you can get from the government. 

What Is the Future of ACFI?

Reports from past years are showing a downgrade in the ACFI evaluations, and the aged care homes are suffering because of it. Over 43% of ACFI claims have been downgraded, which has resulted in under-funded aged care homes. High-need residents will bear the brunt of this the most, with them being left to the home’s care that may not have all the resources necessary to care for their residents. 

Another problem with the ACFI funding is that what the money is used for is entirely up to the hospital. There is no regulation on how the money will be spent and whose care it will go to. This is a serious problem for the high need homes, as oftentimes, the owners will keep more money for themselves and employees instead of putting it towards medications, activities, and other healthcare needs for the residents. 

The Aged Care Funding Instrument was created to help those who are coming towards the end of their lives and want to live out their days comfortably. However, there will always be flaws in every system that will challenge and sometimes exploit the system. The fact remains that those looking into assisted living should research in-depth the home they choose to ensure that they are in a living situation where all their basic health and comfort needs are being met.

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