16 January 2023

My aged care representative

11 min read

Accessing aged care or organising personal matters can be complicated, time consuming and very stressful, especially if you are starting to become ill or are starting to lose capacity to make decisions.

You may instead decide to appoint a trusted person to be your representative for your interactions with My Aged Care.

This could be your partner, a family member, close friend, or carer.

Of course, if you have capacity, you still get to decide how much power your representative has over your affairs.

The aged care portal, My Aged Care, allows for older people to appoint a representative to deal with aged care matters on their behalf.

And if you, or a loved one, need or are receiving aged care services, it can be helpful—and sometimes necessary—to have a representative in place.

A representative is someone who is appointed to speak and act on behalf of another person. They could be a family member, a friend, a carer, or an advocate.

A My Aged Care representative can do things on someone else’s behalf, such as:

1. Communicate with My Aged Care, assessors and service providers
2. Make decisions about aged care assessments and referrals for aged care services
3. Seek and update personal information held by My Aged Care.
4. Keep information up to date on your My Aged Care portal

Your representative will receive a My Aged Care ID number that will be connected with your My Aged Care ID number, which will help My Aged Care identify them as your representative.

You will need to decide between two representative types if you want to implement this system.

There are two types of representatives. A regular representative is put in place with your agreement, and an authorised representative is someone who is put in place when you no longer have the capacity to make decisions for yourself.

As a regular representative you need to keep the older person actively involved in the decisions being made for their care and get their permission before you share their personal information with anyone.

What is my aged care representative

A My Aged Care representative is someone who can speak and act on behalf of the older person within My Aged Care. They can do so without the older person needing to provide consent every time.

Why have a representative?

Registering with My Aged Care, progressing through the assessments and approvals, understanding what an approved referral code means, knowing how to go about sourcing services related to a referral code and knowing how to choose a great provider for a home care package is a complex and lengthy process.

Communication is vital to ensure these processes occur as they should, in a timely manner, and that they reflect the changing needs of the older person.

Appointing a representative in My Aged Care shares the tasks of communication and action.

The older person can ask their representative to interact with My Aged Care in their place.

There may be cognitive issues, hearing, vision or speech impairments, language barriers, not being digitally connected, a lack of confidence, or any other number of reasons why an older person would prefer a trusted family member or carer to deal with My Aged Care on their behalf. As mentioned earlier, there are two types of representatives:

There are two types of representatives:

1. A regular representative
2. An authorised representative

Regular representatives

A regular representative is someone who can act on behalf of the older person, where the older person has decision making capacity, that is, they have the capacity to provide consent for this to happen.

To become a regular representative, My Aged Care requires permission from both the intended representative and the older person who requires care. This can be obtained by the assessor during the aged care assessment, over the phone by calling My Aged Care, or by completing the Appointment of a Representative form and returning it to My Aged Care.

The regular representative can also be nominated as the first point of contact with My Aged Care. This means the representative will be contacted first, instead of the older person. This representative will also receive any information via post.

An older person who has a regular representative can still communicate directly with My Aged Care if they wish

Authorised representatives

An authorised representative is someone who can act on behalf of an older person who does not have decision making capacity.

To become an authorised representative, you will need the appropriate legal documents to confirm you have the legal right to act on the older person’s behalf for personal, health and/or lifestyle decisions. These documents vary from state to state but could be an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA), an Enduring Guardianship, or a Guardianship order.

Both the EPOA and the Enduring Guardianship need to be accompanied by a letter from a doctor stating that the older person cannot act on their own behalf.

If you don’t have any of these documents and want to be appointed as an authorised representative, you’ll need to supply My Aged Care with a statutory declaration stating you are the most appropriate person to represent the older person and you’ll also need a letter from a doctor stating the older person is unable to act for themselves.

The authorised representative will automatically be the first point of contact for any communication from My Aged Care.

What does my aged care representative do?

Gives information to My Aged Care.

This could be talking to assessors, the My Aged Care contact centre and service providers.

Seeks information from My Aged Care.

This could be asking where the older person sits in the national queue and when they might receive their support package, or if a referral for assessment has been received and when to expect a call from an assessor.

Make decisions about aged care assessments and referrals for aged care services.

This could also include asking for a review of the older person’s assessment to get a higher level of care if their needs are exceeding their current support.

See and update aged care and personal information.

This could be where an older person has changed address or moved into an aged care facility. This can be done through the contact centre or through the My Aged Care client record on myGov.

In our experience, older people who have My Aged Care representatives achieve timelier and more appropriate outcomes. They don’t fall through the cracks because the representative is regularly monitoring and following up on behalf of the older person.

For information on how to become an aged representative click here

Who is the most appropriate person or persons to be appointed as a representative within My Aged Care?

The most appropriate person to be representing an older person within My Aged Care is the person who fulfils the caregiving role. It is the person who has a thorough understanding of the day-to-day limitations and needs of the older person.

Communication with My Aged Care needs to detail those day-to-day limitations and needs. The representative is the person who can convey to My Aged Care, to assessment teams and to home care providers, in detail, what the older person needs to enable them to remain living at home.

Appointing a representative within My Aged Care is not a legal obligation, nor is it concerned with managing finances.

Appointing a representative within My Aged Care is solely for the purpose of efficient and effective communication at each step in the journey.

A representative is acknowledged by the staff at My Aged Care as having the consent to speak on behalf of an older person and information from My Aged Care will be shared willingly.

Without an appointed My Aged Care representative formally noted within the system, the staff at My Aged Care will not discuss nor disclose any details about the older person.

My Aged Care will create a record and an identification number for all representatives. Some personal information is gathered such as the representative’s Medicare number and their date of birth. This is to ensure that My Aged Care staff are dealing with the appropriate person.

A My Aged Care representative does not fulfil the same role as a legally appointed substitute decision maker.

Leaving an older person to fend for them self within the aged care system is fraught with peril and may disadvantage them in communication and decision making.

If your situation has changed unexpectedly and you need immediate help with aged care services or getting someone to represent you, please call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.