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Step 1 of 5

Assess eligibility

Before entering aged care, you will need to have an assessment with a member of an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). A member of an ACAT will talk to you about your current situation and help you work out what your options are.

There are a few ways you can access and ACAT assessment:

  1. Call us for a referral on 1800 960 433
  2. Contact your local hospital / GP for a referral
  3. Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422
What happens next?

Once you have completed the ACAT assessment, you will receive a letter to let you know if you have been approved as eligible or Australian Government subsidised aged care services.

Your letter will tell you which type of care and services you are eligible for and approved to receive, as well as the reasons why. You should keep a copy of this letter because you will need to provide this as confirmation of eligibility to receive subsided services during the admission process.

Types of care

Permanent care

Accommodation, care and support services offered within an aged care setting on a permanent, long term basis. Residential Aged Care is available to residents who can no longer live independently in their own home and require ongoing support with daily tasks or managing their health care.

Respite care

Accommodation, care and support offered within an aged care service on a temporary, short term basis. Respite care may be required for a number of reasons, including when carers are unavailable or on holidays, or if a resident is transitioning from hospital and needs some extra support before returning home.

Memory Support / Dementia Care

Specialist care for residents with dementia, Alzheimer’s or other forms of memory impairment. Some residential aged care services offer secure units that are purpose designed for residents living with memory impairment, so they can receive the care and support they need in a safe environment.

Palliative care

End of life care offered within an aged care service for residents who are terminally ill. Palliative care offers emotional and clinical support for both residents and their families to help them live as fully and as comfortably as possible during this time.

Step 2 of 5

Find an aged care community

After you have had your ACAT assessment, it can take a little while to receive your letter of assessment.

While you’re waiting, you can start researching providers and booking tours. Tours are a great way to meet the other residents and staff and get a feel for the setting. It might be a good idea to put a shortlist of your favourites together. This can help narrow down the options when it comes time to choose.

All aged care homes are unique and have different features, lifestyle activities, room sizes, communal areas and dining menus. It’s a good idea to make a list of the most important things you are looking for in your new home and what would suit your personality best. Do you like the peace and quiet of a more rural setting or the hustle and bustle of an inner city location?  Are you a green thumb? Do you enjoy having pets around for company? Do you love craft and music? There are so many choices, it can feel overwhelming. Researching providers is a good starting point.

Once you have found a location you like and have met with the staff, you’ll be ready to apply when your letter comes through.

Step 3 of 5

Understand fees and charges

Lutheran Services Residential Aged Care Services are government approved and subsidised services offering care and support to eligible people.​

A potential resident’s financial situation does not affect their ability to live in a Lutheran Services Residential Aged Care Service, but it will impact what they may have to pay for the service.​ When entering aged care you will pay for two things:

  1. Your room (accommodation fees)
  2. Your care (living and care fees)

How much you can afford to contribute to the cost of your care and accommodation is determined by the government using an income and asset assessment

  1. Accommodation Fees

This is the cost of your room and is set by individual providers based on the types of rooms available, and the geographic location of the service. A Combined Income and Assets Assessment will place you in one of three categories that will determine the amount you will be asked to pay:

  • Supported: The government will pay for your accommodation charge
  • Partially supported: The government will pay for some of your accommodation charge and you’ll be asked to pay the rest
  • Financial (or self-funded): You’ll be required to pay the full cost of the accommodation


  1.  Living and Care Fees

The living and care fees are made up of the following;

  •  Basic Daily Care Fee

This is for your day to day living costs such as meals, cleaning, laundry, heating and cooling. The fee is set by the Australian Government and is the same across all aged care communities. Generally, it’s set at 85% of the single person rate of the basic age pension.

  • Means-Tested Care Fee

This is for healthcare needs. You may be required to help pay the costs of your healthcare, depending on your financial situation. The amount you are expected to pay increases depending on your income and assets assessment and is set by the government. There is a safety net in place, with an annual cap and a lifetime cap on the total amount you are required to pay. The government will fund the care fee in full after the cap is reached.

  • Additional Services

Additional services are site specific offerings that aim to enhance the resident experience and cater to individual preferences. Some providers offer Additional Services which enhance your daily living, such as a wider variety of meal and lifestyle options. The cost of these services is set by individual providers and can be optional or required as a condition of entry.

If you would like an estimate of your fees, please use our handy Fee Calculator Tool below.

Step 4 of 5

Apply to a provider

Once you have received your letter of assessment, researched providers and understand the fees and charges, it’s time to apply to a provider. You can apply to as many aged care homes as you like. When a place becomes available, the aged care home will contact you or your nominated contact person.

There is a bit of paperwork you will need to fill in or provide, such as:

  1. Application form
  2. Resident Agreement
  3. Charter of Residents Rights and Responsibilities
  4. Identification documents

Not all aged care providers will have availability when you need it. That’s why it’s good to apply to as many aged care providers as you can at once, so you can increase your chances of securing a place as soon as one becomes available.

After accepting a place, make sure you let the other providers know that you have found somewhere you like, so that they know they no longer need to keep your application open.

If you would like more information on the application process, please call 1800 960 433 to speak to a friendly Client and Community Advisor in your local area.


Step 5 of 5

Moving in to your new home

Congratulations, you have reached the final step of your aged care application journey!

Moving to a new aged care facility is an emotional decision and can feel a bit overwhelming. It can feel like a lot of change, all at once which can be stressful. You may have lived in the same house for many years and moving to aged care feel very different from what you are used to. There will be new routine, new surroundings, new food and new people all living together. You may have help with many of the everyday tasks that you have been used to doing for yourself and there will be lots of social activities happening each day around you.

It may take some time to adjust to your new lifestyle but there are lots of familiar things that you will still be able to enjoy, as well as new and exciting activities to try your hand at. You might like to bring special mementos, furnishings to decorate your new room and make it feel like home. Your family and friends might like to visit and help you settle in. Your service manager might be able to introduce you to some other new residents that have moved in at the same time.



Fee Calculator

If you would like an estimate of your fees, please use our handy Fee Calculator Tool.

View Calculator

Helpful Guide

Read and download our helpful comparison guide here.

Download guide

Speak with us

Would you still like to speak to someone? Call us on 1800 960 433 and we can connect you with the right person.