What you pay for residential care depends on your needs and your financial situation. You can access care on either a temporary (respite) or long term (residential) basis. Government support is available for both.
Essentially fees are broken into two areas, care fees and accommodation fees.
Care fees cover expenses like meals, cleaning, power, laundry and nursing or personal care – all the day-to-day stuff. This fee is set by the government and is 85% of the single person rate of the basic Aged Pension. It is indexed and will increase twice a year in line with pension increases. Care fees are also means tested. You may have to pay an additional contribution depending on the outcome of your assessment.
If you choose a higher standard of accommodation or extra services – different meals, exercise programs etc – you may also have to pay extra. The costs will vary depending on where you choose to live. The same applies if you require extra services that are above your assessed care needs or above what your provider is required to provide.
Accommodation fees are the amount you pay for your accommodation. Some people have the costs met in full or part by the Federal Government. Others need to pay the price agreed with the aged care provider.
What you pay will be based on your income and means assessment. It will be one of three scenarios:
- no accommodation cost
- an accommodation contribution
- an accommodation payment
Services Australia carries out assessments for residential care and will let you know which one of the above applies to you. There are various ways you can choose to pay your fees. This is worked out in consultation with your aged care provider.