Choosing a supported accommodation service

If we can pay for the care you need at a supported accommodation service, the next step is to choose the accommodation that is right for you.

This information will help you understand the different types of supported accommodation services available.

Remember, your TAC Support Coordinator is there to help you make an informed choice and clarify anything you are unsure about.

Each type of supported accommodation service provides varying levels of support and care in different environments. It is important that you are aware of the levels of support and care each type of service provides. You should consider the features of the service that are important to you.

Together, you, your TAC Support Coordinator and your treating health professionals will work out the level of support you need. Your TAC Support Coordinator will also tell you if you will be responsible for any fees to do with your move to a supported accommodation service.

In order for the TAC to be able to pay for a supported accommodation setting for you, it must meet certain accreditation or registration requirements to ensure the setting and services provided are safe and of high quality. Your TAC Support Coordinator can assist you with your choice of provider.

Types of supported accommodation services

There are three types of supported accommodation services:

  • Supported Residential Services
  • Shared Supported Accommodation - also referred to as group home, community group home or shared group home
  • Residential aged care facilities

Supported Residential Services

A Supported Residential Service (SRS) is for people who need a low to medium level of support with everyday activities. Staff at a SRS provide care including assistance with showering, personal hygiene, toileting, dressing, meals and medication. Depending on the SRS, there may be up to 60 people receiving housing and support in the one setting. Residents usually have their own bedroom, with private or shared bathroom facilities. Each SRS determines the services it offers and its fee structure.

Supported Residential Services are required to be registered with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), as it monitors quality of service provision and compliance with set standards and requirements. The TAC will only fund SRSs that are registered with the DHHS.

Shared Supported Accommodation

Shared Supported Accommodation (SSA) facilities are for people who need a medium to high level of support. They are houses with paid carers that provide a 24 hour shared care model of support which can include help with personal care, engaging residents in day to day activities, assistance with medication, behavioural support (if required) and completing exercises/rehabilitation as recommended by a health professional. There are usually five or fewer people receiving housing and support in the same setting, with people having separate bedrooms but shared living spaces. There is also a sleep-over facility for staff, as support from staff is available 24 hours if necessary.

A Shared Supported Accommodation provider is required to be registered with the TAC, or be willing to become registered, in order for the TAC to fund your stay at this type of accommodation. TAC registration of Shared Supported Accommodation providers ensures a certain level of quality and safety in the services you receive.

Residential aged care facilities

Residential aged care facilities provide support and care for older people (over 65 years of age) in a group living setting. Staff can help with day to day tasks, personal care and also 24 hour nursing care.

Residential aged care facilities may be privately owned, or run by local councils, church organsiations or not-for-profit organisations. Facilities vary in style, size and age. Some give priority to certain groups, such as war veterans or people from non-English speaking backgrounds, or specialise in supporting people with dementia specific care needs.

If you are eligible, the TAC can help pay for residential aged care. Prices are set by the Australian Government. The TAC will only fund residential aged care facilities that are accredited by the government.

Understanding which service is right for you

It is important to choose a supported accommodation service that meets your needs and can help you maximise your independence.

Your TAC Support Coordinator may suggest visiting a couple of supported accommodation services to ask questions that will help you make a decision.

It is a good idea to have at least three options so you can compare the features and supports. Remember that you may not find a service that meets all your needs, so it is best to consider the factors that are most important to you. You can use this checklist to help you.

Choosing a supported accommodation service – checklist

Accommodation option 1:

Accommodation option 2:

Accommodation option 3:

Things to consider Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
Is the location convenient? Is it near family and friends, public transport, community services and activities in the community that are important to you?   
Does the building have the physical access you need, both for entries and exits, and also internally (e.g. accessible bathroom facilities, wide doorways)?   
Is the daily routine flexible or fixed? Will it help you on your journey to independence?    
How many residents live there? What is the age and gender mix?   
What social activities are there, and is the supported accommodation service sensitive to any cultural or religious requirements?    
Will the service meet your specific health needs?    
How many staff are on duty during the day and at night?    
What is included in the fees and what is considered an extra that may cost more? (Consider that the TAC cannot pay for room upgrades, pay TV, hairdresser etc.)    
Can family and friends visit without restriction?    
Do meals appear to be varied and nutritious?    
What are the arrangements if you need to be away for a period of time?    
What are the policies relating to smoking and alcohol? Does this suit you?    
Is there enough space for your belongings and the assistive equipment you require?    
Is there an outdoor area? Is this fully accessible?   
Does the service have a process for managing complaints?    
Has the service provided you with a copy of a document outlining resident’s rights and responsibilities and discussed the tenancy agreement with you?