Photo of nurse holding hands with woman in a wheelchair

Aged care contract tools offer guidance to make the right decisions

Navigating the Aged Care system can be confusing and frustrating. But Cecilia Chiolero from Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) NT writes that “empowering ourselves with the right knowledge, especially in complex fields like aged care, is crucial”.

Published: 31 January 2024
  • national, nt
  • 31 January 2024
  • Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC)

Sir Francis Bacon's saying, "knowledge itself is power," resonates profoundly here. Understanding our situation, weighing options, and making informed decisions are all facets of this power.

However, the challenge often lies in navigating the deluge of information, more so in sensitive areas like aged care services. The abundance of data can also be overwhelming, particularly when we are faced with the responsibility of making decisions for ourselves or our loved ones in aged care.

The challenge is heightened for those encountering the aged care system for the first time or under the pressure of time-sensitive decisions. Amidst this, the risk of feeling intimidated or embarrassed by our lack of understanding is real and understandable.

In recognition of these challenges, two instrumental tools have been developed to simplify and guide the decision-making process in aged care.

10 Questions

The first tool is "10 Questions" (, an initiative by the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association alongside the NSW Aged Care Roundtable partners. This resource consists of a series of leaflets, each delving into different aspects of aged care.

Authored by seasoned nurses, doctors, and aged care experts, these leaflets serve as a guiding light, ensuring that critical questions about Commonwealth-funded home care or residential aged care are not overlooked.

They provide a foundation for understanding and clarity in a field often clouded with complexities.

Contract Checklist for Clients

PICAC NT has also developed the "Contract Checklist for Clients". This checklist is a streamlined resource designed to simplify the process of signing contracts with aged care service providers.

It comprises nine tick boxes, all of which people should be able to tick before signing any contract. This tool is particularly beneficial for clients, families, and carers from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds.

It highlights the necessity of having access to documents and contracts in preferred languages — a service that has become increasingly feasible due to an initiative introduced by the Federal Government in 2023.

This initiative allows peak bodies and aged care service providers to take advantage of free translation services, thereby ensuring that essential documents are accessible in the languages required by diverse Australian communities.

Australia's rich multicultural landscape means the need for translations varies significantly across regions. Both the "10 Questions" leaflets and the "Contract Checklist for Clients" are available in multiple languages, reflecting this diversity.

The Contract Checklist, for example, is now available in languages including Chinese (simplified and traditional), Greek, Hindi, Italian, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Swahili, Portuguese, Tamil, and Sinhalese. Further languages can be added upon request. By sharing and utilising these tools, service providers, clients, and their families can make more informed, confident decisions in the complex world of aged care.

For more information and resources contact Cecilia Chiolero, PICAC NT Manager on or phone 08 8941 1004 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 3pm)