RACGP aged care clinical guide (Silver Book)

Silver Book - Part C

My Aged Care

Last revised: 20 Jul 2023

Health professionals such as GPs play a key role in supporting access to aged care services. My Aged Care is a free Australian government service that helps older people and their carers to navigate the aged care system. In most cases, the My Aged Care website acts as the entry point for older Australians to access aged care.

My Aged Care provides resources for health professionals who wish to refer older people to these services. Services include:

  • Help at home – services to assist older people to live independently in their own home
  • Short-term care – services that help a person after a hospital stay or support if a regular family carer is taking a holiday
  • Aged care homes – for an older person who can no longer live at home and needs ongoing help with everyday tasks or healthcare, an aged care home may be considered appropriate.

Home support assessments are conducted by a regional assessment service, and comprehensive assessments for those with greater care needs are conducted with an aged care assessment team (ACAT). 

Discussing access to extra services may be a worthwhile conversation with all patients over 70 years of age who may benefit from them.

There are opportunities for practice nurses, with GP oversight, to assist in patient referrals for My Aged Care assessments. Patient medical record systems provide templates for health assessments and CMAs that can be performed by practice nurses and reviewed by GPs before sign off. 

Referrals can be made via:

Patient consent

Prior to a referral being made, a person must have given consent for a health professional to provide information on their behalf. This information includes:

  • Medicare or DVA details
  • personal information, including date of birth and contact details. 

Length of time to complete a referral

The Make a Referral form takes about 15–20 minutes to complete. However, access to the form is set for 60 minutes before it resets. 

What happens after a referral?

Once a completed referral is received by My Aged Care, the information is sent directly to an ACAT assessor, who will call the patient to discuss and organise an assessment. This can take up to six weeks

The ACAT assessment will determine whether a patient is eligible for government-funded services and which services they are eligible for. 

Following up on referrals

General practices can follow up on GP referrals by calling the My Aged Care contact centre. The following information will be required:

  • a confirmation number from the online referral
  • GP details and the patient’s details.

The contact centre can provide information on:

  • whether a referral has been made to an assessment organisation
  • the type of assessment
  • the name and contact details of the assessment organisation
  • whether the patient has been referred for services, including the type of services, and whether they have been accepted by a provider
  • whether the client has existing aged care approvals in place
  • whether the referral you made has been closed, including the reason for closure. 

Urgent referral

The preferred method for health professionals to access urgent services is by contacting the service provider directly. The service provider will, if able, provide urgent care for the patient and subsequently refer the patient to My Aged Care for an assessment of ongoing service needs. 

Provider contact details can be accessed via telephone on 1800 200 422 or by using the Find a provider tool to search for a provider.

My Aged Care is an important service, but there are other ways of finding additional support for people. For example, social workers are able to visit and assess patient needs and coordinate resources to help. 

Below are some examples of aged care resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) populations, people facing homelessness, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning, asexual and other sexually or gender diverse (LGBTIQA+) people and veterans. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

CALD populations

Homeless people

LGBTIQA+ people


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