Moving to an aged care home
Information on the types of aged care homes, how to choose one, financial support and what your rights and responsibilities are.
Types of aged care homes
Aged care homes are also known as nursing homes or residential aged care facilities. They provide:
- accommodation and support with daily tasks
- personal care services such as help bathing and taking medications
- clinical care services such as nursing and therapy
- social activities.
There are 2 types of aged care homes:
- non-government funded are not regulated or subsidised, so you’ll have to pay the full cost to access these services
- government funded are subsidised to make them more affordable, and they have to meet certain quality standards.
To get a place at a subsidised aged care home, you’ll need to have an assessment by My Aged Care. If eligible, you’ll get an approval letter and support plan that shows the care you’re approved for.
Apply for an assessment at My Aged Care.
Working out the cost
The cost of living in an aged care home will be different for each home. How much you pay will depend on:
- the home you choose
- the level of care you need
- a means assessment of your income and assets
Generally, all homes charge:
- a basic daily fee
- an accommodation fee
- a means-tested care fee
- fees for extra services
If you're thinking about applying for a place at a government-funded aged care home, you can:
- get an estimate of the fees you'll pay at My Aged Care
- apply for an aged care calculation of your cost of care at Services Australia.
If you’re in financial hardship
If you cannot pay your aged care costs for reasons beyond your control, you may be able to get financial hardship assistance.
If eligible, this can include:
- stopping or reducing your fees
- financial help paying all or some of your fees.
You are eligible if you have:
- calculated your cost of care
- assets below the threshold limit
- not gifted income or assets above the limits.
Find out more about financial hardship assistance at Services Australia.
Finding an aged care home
Every aged care home is different. When choosing a home, consider:
- your age
- your health
- the level of care and services offered
- your finances
- your social needs.
It can help to visit a few different aged care homes in person to check:
- what the accommodation is like
- the types of care, services and activities available
- how your individual needs can be met
- the cost of care and accommodation.
My Aged Care has a checklist of questions (PDF, 52KB) to ask when visiting aged care homes.
Find an aged care home provider at My Aged Care.
Accepting an offer
If you accept an offer from an aged care home, you’ll be asked to sign a resident agreement and care agreement. This may be one or several different documents.
The agreement covers:
- the care and services you’ll receive
- your fees and how to pay them
- your rights and responsibilities.
This is a legal document, so it’s important that you read and understand it. If anything is unclear, you can get help from:
- the aged care home you’ll be moving into
- your friends and family
- a legal professional
- the Older Persons Advocacy Network on 1800 700 600, for government funded aged care homes.
If you have an issue or complaint
You should try and resolve any issues directly with the aged care home. All service providers are required to have a complaints system in place. Doing so can help other people too.
You can request an advocate from the Older Persons Advocacy Network to support you when dealing with a government funded aged care service.
If you cannot resolve the issue directly with the provider, you can consult the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
It's a free service for anyone to raise a concern or make a complaint about the quality of care or services provided to people receiving Australian Government funded aged care.
Learn more about getting help in resolving issues through the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.