What is an aged care home?
An aged care home provides accommodation and care for older people who can no longer live independently in their own home due to health reasons.
You can live in an aged care home permanently or for a short stay to recover from an illness or to access support to transition back to your own home after a hospital stay. An aged care home can also be used for short term stays to provide respite for carers.
Where do I start when considering an aged care home?
We suggest that you visit a few different places, including ours, to make sure you find a home that you’re comfortable in and that will suit your needs. When you visit you can ask each home about the types of services they offer.
The application process is straightforward and you can apply to as many homes as you like. The homes should explain to you about any fees and charges that you may be asked to pay. These should be included in the agreement that you make with your aged care home.
What are the fees and charges?
Your contribution to the cost of receiving care in an aged care home is made up of a combination of different fees depending on your circumstances. For most people the fees and charges are made up of four parts:
- a basic daily fee
- a means tested care fee based on assets and income
- an accommodation payment
- fees for extra or additional (optional) services.
A basic daily fee:
A basic daily fee is used for your day-to-day living costs such as meals, cleaning, laundry, heating and cooling. It is paid by all people who receive residential care. For some people, this is the only fee they may need to pay. The basic daily fee is set by the Australian Government at 85 per cent of the single person rate of the basic age pension.
A mean tested care fee:
An extra contribution towards the cost of care that residents may need to pay, on top of the basic fee, depending on income and assets. This fee is also set by the Australian Government based on a sliding scale.
An Accommodation Payment:
An accommodation payment is a payment for accommodation in an aged care home. Some people will have their accommodation costs paid in full or in part by the Australian Government. Others will need to pay the accommodation price they negotiate with their aged care home.
You can choose to pay it as a one off refundable accommodation deposit or as a daily accommodation payment.
- Optional fees for extra or additional service options
If you choose a higher standard of accommodation or extra services such as hairdressing or pay TV in your room you may have to pay extra.
How do I find out if I am eligible for a government subsidy?
If you’re thinking about moving into an aged care home that is subsidised by the Australian Government, the first step is to organise a free assessment with an Aged Care Assessment Team. The assessment team will decide what type of care you need.
To organise this free assessment call myagedcare on 1800 200 422.
Can Lutheran Services help?
Yes, of course. Call us or visit one of our aged care homes and we will be happy to spend time with you to answer your questions and guide you through the process of deciding whether one of our homes is suitable for you.
What is respite care?
Residential respite care is a short term stay in a residential care setting for people who need a level of higher care for a period of time. Residential respite care is suitable if you need ongoing, continuous care. Residential respite is available in certain situations:
- If your usual carer goes on holiday
- If you are discharged from hospital and need extra care before going home
- As a trial for permanent residential aged care
- In an emergency situation where your usual carer is unavailable (e.g. if your carer has to go to hospital unexpectedly).
Who can access respite care?
Anyone who has had an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessment and has been approved for residential respite can access residential respite care. The criteria are the same for permanent residential care. You can access residential respite in addition to receiving support from the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) or a Home Care Package
What are the fees and charges for respite care?
If you are approved for residential respite care, you will pay the basic daily fee. The fee is determined by the Department of Human Services and is based on their schedule of fees and charges that is released biannually. You can also access respite care on a fee-for-service basis. The fee for service is set by each aged care facility.