Aged Care Homes can come in all shapes, sizes, and prices.

Finding the right option can be challenging when searching for a home for your loved one. There are various costs associated with Nursing Homes, and understanding how much you have to pay is important to balance your specific care needs and financial situation.

Some of the costs associated with Aged Care Homes are subsidised by the Australian government and paid directly to the individual Nursing Home. However, the amount you’ll pay, and the type of costs you’ll pay, depend on your assets and income assessment as well as the place you choose.

This article will highlight the general types of Nursing Home costs and what they mean for you.

Care and accommodation costs. 

The first care and accommodation cost for Nursing Homes is the basic daily fee, which is the amount paid for daily essential care services. It covers services such as:

  • Meals
  • Cleaning of the home and room
  • Drying, washing, and delivery of laundry
  • Heating and cooling
  • Some personal care
  • Assistance with daily living
  • Some medical care and pharmaceutical services

Basic daily fees are calculated by the government and updated on the 20th of March and 20th of September each year. You can also visit the Department of Health’s website to view current rates, which are updated regularly as soon as they change.

The second important fee is the means-tested care fee, which is the extra ongoing contribution you might pay toward the costs of your personal and clinical care. Current means-tested care fees are between $0 and $264.81 per day, but not everyone will have to pay for it.

The means-tested care fee is usually determined by a means assessment, in which your financial assets and income are assessed to determine how much (if any) you have to pay. My Aged Care portal has a fee estimator to help you calculate and plan how much you might have to pay, although the final costs will be determined by the Nursing Home you choose.

The third main cost in Nursing Homes is the accommodation costs, which is the fee you will pay for your room in the home. This cost also depends on your means of assessment and the type of home or room you choose. For example, your room size, whether it’s a single or shared room, and the location of the home will all affect the accommodation cost.       

You can pay for your accommodation either through a daily accommodation payment (DAP), a refundable accommodation payment (RAD), or a combination of both payment methods. Before deciding on a payment method, you should consider your financial situation to make the best decision for you and your family.

Other costs

Depending on the home and your agreement with your service provider, you may also be charged additional costs during your stay. However, the government does not subsidise these fees because they are specific to the providers themselves.

Here are other additional fees you could come across in a Nursing Home:

  • Additional service fees: Services that go beyond the basic care and service requirements, such as access to paid tv services or arranging a hairdresser, could be charged an additional fee by the home
  • Extra service fees: Some Aged Care Homes can provide a higher standard or hotel-type services such as a personalised menu, bedside phone, and special room furnishings. 
  • Before moving into a home, it’s advised that you discuss these fees with the administrator so that you are prepared for any additional costs.

Choosing an Aged Care Home or provider.

Understanding the many fees and charges is important when choosing a Nursing Home. While it can be stressful searching for the right home and navigating the different government rebates, there is support available for both seniors and their loved ones. At Care About, we help carers and seniors make the most sound decision when moving into a Nursing Home. Our Aged Care Home Advisors can connect you with the best financial experts to give you trusted advice at no cost. Call us today for a FREE, personalised chat, or visit our website to learn more.