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Do I have to pay an exit fee when switching Home Care providers?

This depends on what was disclosed in the Home Care Agreement. An exit fee for switching Home Care providers is not mandatory, but it can only be deducted from your unspent home care funds if It is disclosed in the Home Care Agreement you enter into and agree to in advance.

What is an admin fee?

While Home Care providers charge a case management fee for the costs involved in creating your care plan, and conducting home visits for assessment and review purposes, there are additional costs involved in administering your care plan, managing your budget, and co-ordinating carers. These costs are covered by an admin fee your Home Care provider may charge you, and will vary from one provider to the next.

What is a daily fee?

Home Care providers are allowed to charge a basic daily fee, in addition to their other fees, while Aged Care Homes all charge a daily care fee. With Home Care the basic daily fee is added to your budget, effectively increasing what you are able to spend on care and support.

In Aged Care Homes the daily care fee covers day-to-day costs including meals, laundry, and cleaning services. For recipients of a government subsidy, the maximum daily fee is reviewed and set by the Australian Government annually.

 

What is an income-tested fee?

An income-tested fee is a fee you might be asked to pay towards your Home Care. It is separate to the basic daily fee and is calculated based on your annual income not on your assets.

Your income is assessed during the process of applying for a Government Funded Home Care Package, but is reviewed quarterly for any changes. Annual and lifetime caps also apply to income-tested fees and you and your Home Care provider will be notified whenever you reach your annual or lifetime cap.

What is the average cost of Home Care?

All levels of Home Care Packages are made up of a subsidy from the Australian Government. You may need to contribute to the Package out of your own pocket.  However, the amount that you pay is influenced by several factors including whether or not your chosen Home Care provider charges you a basic daily fee, along with an income-tested fee you may have to pay based on your income (assessed at the start of each quarter).

More recently the Australian Government introduced annual and lifetime caps that apply to any income-tested fees you may have to pay. This is monitored by the Department of Human Services, and they will notify both you and your Home Care provider whenever you have reached your annual or lifetime cap.

What is the average cost of Aged Care Homes?

The cost of Aged Care Homes is influenced by a number of factors, including whether you pay the Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) in full or opt for Daily Accommodation Payments (DAP), or a combination of the two.

Location also has considerable influence on the cost, with Aged Care Homes in major cities costing considerably more than those in more remote locations. And, a single, private room will cost more than a shared room.

CareAbout’s searchable database includes cost estimates – where available – for Aged Care Homes throughout Australia, while a CareAbout Advocate can consider your budget while helping you to find Homes that meet your needs, and even try to negotiate fees on your behalf.

What is the average cost of Aged Care Homes?

The cost of Aged Care Homes is influenced by a number of factors, including whether you pay the Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) in full or opt for Daily Accommodation Payments (DAP), or a combination of the two.

Location also has considerable influence on the cost, with Aged Care Homes in major cities costing considerably more than those in more remote locations. And, a single, private room will cost more than a shared room.

CareAbout’s searchable database includes cost estimates – where available – for Aged Care Homes throughout Australia, while a CareAbout Advocate can consider your budget while helping you to find Homes that meet your needs, and even try to negotiate fees on your behalf.

Can I negotiate the Aged Care Home RAD?

The Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) can be negotiated, but you ultimately have little control over whether or not the Home accepts any offers you present. The same applies to many of the other fees, aside from means-tested fees that are determined by your income and assets.

For a one-time fee a CareAbout Advocate can work with you in finding a facility that matches your care needs and preferences, and your budget, along with assisting with the paperwork and negotiating all fees on your behalf.

The decision to move in an Aged Care Home isn’t always an easy one and using a CareAbout Advocate can make the entire process a little less stressful for you and your family. And can help save you money.

Do I need an Aged Care assessment before going to an Aged Care Home?

Yes.

You first need to register for an assessment with My Aged Care. This assessment is done by a local assessor from an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), and will look at what type of services are most suited to your needs.

How to be assessed for an Aged Care Home subsidy?

To be assessed for an Aged Care Home government subsidy, you first need to register for an assessment with My Aged Care. This assessment is done by a local assessor from an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT), and will look at what type of government-funded services are most suited to your needs, and that you might be eligible for.

Options include:

  • a Home Care Package,
  • residential care in an Aged Care Home,
  • residential respite care,
  • short-term restorative care,
  • transition care, and/or
  • other services that you need.

How do Aged Care Home Packages work?

Unlike Home Care, the Australian Government does not offer an Aged Care Home Package. However, they do offer government subsidised care in Aged Care Homes if the Home has been accredited by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency. Applying for government subsidised care has to be done through the My Aged Care service.

Do Aged Care Homes let you bring your own furniture?

This varies, so you would need to ask any Aged Care Home you are interested in about their policy about furniture. Many will already have all the furnishings you could need but will allow you to bring some personal belongings with, such as family photos and mementos.

What makes a good Aged Care Home?

The first thing to consider when assessing the quality of Aged Care Homes is whether they have been accredited by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency. This is a requirement for any Aged Care Homes you are considering if you have applied for Australian Government subsidised care. You can check the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency website for this, along with the latest reports for any Aged Care Homes you are considering.

Other factors to consider include:

  • The location, and the condition and accessibility of the property as a whole.
  • The services that are included as standard, and those that are available as extras. This includes special needs for any medical conditions.
  • The facilities themselves: are the rooms comfortable, and do they afford a suitable amount of privacy and personal space; the common areas, and even outdoor space.
  • The staff, and the other residents: do they all seem happy, comfortable, and appear to enjoy what they are doing. Watch how the staff treat and interact with the residents, but also how the residents interact with each other.
  • Lifestyle interests, such as access to the internet, fitness facilities, organised social events and outings.

CareAbout can assist by helping to identify Aged Care Homes that meet your needs, and if you make use of the CareAbout Advocacy Service, you can expect someone to work with you personally through all the steps involved, including onsite visits of Aged Care Homes that meet your requirements.

CareAbout maintains an extensive database of Aged Care Homes throughout Australia, making it easy to compare fees, room rates, services and features.

Do I have to sell my home for Aged Care?

Selling your home is not a pre-requisite for moving into an Aged Care Home. A better question to ask would be, “should I sell my home before moving into an Aged Care Home?”. There are a number of factors that need to be considered which would influence this decision, such as:

  • The value of your financial and personal assets, including the assessable value of your home if you decide not to sell.
  • Your total annual income, which would include your pension, income return on investments, and rental income on your home if you choose to keep it.
  • The Aged Care Home costs, which are influenced in part by whether you choose to pay the Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) in full, or only partially with a higher Daily Accommodation Payable (DAP) fee applying.
  • Whether you apply – and are approved – for Australian Government subsidised care in an Aged Care Home.

These are not easy decisions to make, and it is advisable for you and your family to discuss all the details with a professional Aged Care adviser and a financial adviser.

If things go wrong – Aged Care complaints – where to get help

Sometimes things go wrong. There is a free government service that can address your complaints.

Call 1800 550 552 or see the Aged Care Complaints website.

What is a Nursing Home?

A Nursing Home is a Residential Aged Care Facility or an Aged Care Home. It’s just a different way some people talk about Aged Care Homes – somewhere where there’s help all the time.

If you need help finding the right Nursing Home or understanding their fees and Aged Care services give us a call on 1300 721 855.

What is a Residential Aged Care Facility?

A Residential Aged Care Facility is a Nursing Home or an Aged Care Home. It’s just a different way some people  talk  about Aged Care Homes – somewhere where there’s help all the time.

If you need help finding the right Residential Aged Care Facility or understanding their fees and services give us a call.

Are there private Aged Care Homes?

Yes, these are called Supported Residential Services. They don’t receive government subsidies so they’re funded in full by residents’ fees.

Residents may still be able to access some government help if they’re in a Supported Residential Service. Speak to CareAbout about your unique situation.

What are Supported Residential Services?

Supported Residential Services are private Aged Care Homes. Supported Residential Services don’t receive government subsidies.

Many people find they need help finding the right care options for their specific circumstances. If you need help CareAbout can help.

What to look for in an Aged Care Home?

There’s loads to consider in choosing an Aged Care Home. The area, the services, the price of the room! CareAbout can connect you with experts who can tour homes with you and help you to find the right match.

Read more on What to look for in an Aged Care Home here.

Fees for Aged Care Homes

Like Care at Home there’s different fees at different homes and different fees depending on your unique situation. It’s a bit confusing.

In short there’s three ways to pay for your room.

  1. A Refundable Accommodation Payment or RAD – which is like a bond.
  2. A Daily Accommodation Payment or DAP – which is an interest rate paid daily.
  3. Or a combination of both a Refundable Accommodation Payment and a Daily Accommodation Payment.

Yes, it’s confusing. So if you’re unsure of how much you can afford or the best way to pay for an Aged Care Home speak to a professional. CareAbout can talk you through the options and connect your with an expert who can estimate your fees and even give you advice on how to structure your finances to make the most of government subsidies.

Read about the costs in our article Aged Care Costs 101.

How do I work out my Means Tested Fee?

In addition to the bond or daily accommodation fee you also have to pay a Means Tested Fee. Centrelink works out how much you need to pay. You can access the means tested fee at Centrelink here.

Do I have to pay an exit fee when switching Home Care providers?

This depends on what was disclosed in the Home Care Agreement. An exit fee for switching Home Care providers is not mandatory, but it can only be deducted from your unspent home care funds if It is disclosed in the Home Care Agreement you enter into and agree to in advance.

What is an admin fee?

While Home Care providers charge a case management fee for the costs involved in creating your care plan, and conducting home visits for assessment and review purposes, there are additional costs involved in administering your care plan, managing your budget, and co-ordinating carers. These costs are covered by an admin fee your Home Care provider may charge you, and will vary from one provider to the next.

What is a daily fee?

Home Care providers are allowed to charge a basic daily fee, in addition to their other fees, while Aged Care Homes all charge a daily care fee. With Home Care the basic daily fee is added to your budget, effectively increasing what you are able to spend on care and support.

In Aged Care Homes the daily care fee covers day-to-day costs including meals, laundry, and cleaning services. For recipients of a government subsidy, the maximum daily fee is reviewed and set by the Australian Government annually.

 

What is the average cost of Home Care?

All levels of Home Care Packages are made up of a subsidy from the Australian Government. You may need to contribute to the Package out of your own pocket.  However, the amount that you pay is influenced by several factors including whether or not your chosen Home Care provider charges you a basic daily fee, along with an income-tested fee you may have to pay based on your income (assessed at the start of each quarter).

More recently the Australian Government introduced annual and lifetime caps that apply to any income-tested fees you may have to pay. This is monitored by the Department of Human Services, and they will notify both you and your Home Care provider whenever you have reached your annual or lifetime cap.

What can I pay for with my Home Care Package?

You are given a great deal of flexibility in terms of what you can spend your Home Care Package funds on, as long as they relate to your care and wellbeing. When you and your Home Care provider draw up your care plan you will be able to decide what you want to spend your funds on.

The types of home care services to consider are:

  • personal care e.g. showering, toileting and assistance getting dressed
  • transport to shops, medical appointments and social activities
  • simple modifications to the home, including hand rails and ramps
  • nursing and physiotherapy
  • assistance taking medication
  • preparing and serving meals
  • household jobs such as cleaning, cleaning, laundry, paying bills, changing sheets, meal preparation and gardening
  • provision of mobility equipment such as walking frames
  • linking with local community groups and social activities
  • decluttering and packing services that can help you feel organised and safe in your home.

We all have the right to choose how we live. Changes to aged care in Australia have put you in control. Make sure you’re getting the right help and if you need support finding the right care provider for your needs or if you’ve got further questions, call CareAbout.

Are Home Care Packages available in NSW?

Home Care Packages are available in all Australian States and Territories, from New South Wales, the ACT, and Victoria, through to Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Tasmania. While you have to use My Aged Care to be assessed for a Home Care Package, we at CareAbout will be able to assist you in locating the ideal Home Care service provider.

How many hours in a Level 2 Home Care Package?

There are a number of variables that affect the number of hours of care you could receive as part of your Home Care Package. The four different levels of Home Care Packages are each designed for a specific level of care, and each has a different maximum government contribution amount attached. The government contribution is paid directly to your chosen Home Care service provider, who may deduct administration and case management fees from it. In addition to this, you may also be asked to pay a basic daily fee and an income-tested fee. The final variable that will influence how many hours of care you can receive is the hourly rate charged by your chosen Home Care service provider

Home Care Package LevelType of Care NeededMaximum Yearly Government Contribution 1Approximate Number of Hours of Home Care 2
Level 1Basic Careup to $8,0002 hours per week
Level 2Low-Level Careup to $14,5003-4 hours per week
Level 3Intermediate Careup to $32,5007-9 hours per week
Level 4High-Level Careup to $49,50010-13 hours per week
1 Amounts indicated are the maximum contribution for 2018 for each level
2 These figures are only meant to give some indication of the number of hours of care you could receive per week. They do not represent guaranteed minimum or maximum hours.

CareAbout can help you locate – and more importantly – choose the Home Care services and packages that are right for you, your budget, and your precise needs.

What is a Home Care Package?

A Home Care Package is part of an Australian Government subsidised program designed to offer support to older persons who want to continue living independently in their own home, but may need assistance with some daily living activities.

To see if you qualify for a Home Care Package, you will need to be assessed by My Aged Care to establish the level of care you need.  The Home Care Package program offers four package levels, ranging from basic care through to a high-level of care needs, and My Aged Care work with you and qualified assessors in determining your needs.

If you are allocated a Home Care Package, you will need to select a Home Care service provider, and they will be responsible for administering the funds on your behalf.

Care at Home costs explained

Yes, it the costs can get a bit tricky. Different aged care providers charge different fees and then there’s the government fees. See our simple table Care At Home Costs Explained for a clear explanation.

How do I pay for Aged Care

Aged Care is complex and expensive. There seems to be endless fees and hoops to jump through. But there is help. Call CareAbout and we’ll explain aged care fees in words you’ll understand. We can even match you with one of our care partners – and this is absolutely free!

How can I afford care?

The government helps subsidise the costs of aged care. And yes, you’re expected to contribute to these costs. Your contribution depends on your individual situation.

Many people seek professional help to work out the best way to pay for aged care. CareAbout can connect you with experts who can estimate your fees and even give you advice on how to structure your finances to make the most of government subsidies. Read about the costs of aged care in our article Aged Care Costs 101.

How much will the government pay?

Everyone over the age of 65 years in Australia is entitled to some help from the Commonwealth Government. However, everyone is expected to contribute to the cost of aged care.

For Care at Home there’s different levels of subsidies – up to 49k per year. But you will be expected to pay towards the cost of care.

What will the NDIS fund?

The NDIS is intended to provide reasonable and necessary supports and services to eligible participants, and these could cover a number of areas of a person’s life. When assessing each participant, the NDIS is guided by the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act) and the rules made under the NDIS Act in determining what would be considered reasonable and necessary. Some types of supports they could consider include:

  • certain daily personal activities,
  • transport enabling participation in community, social, economic and daily life activities,
  • workplace assistance that would allow a participant to become or stay employed,
  • therapeutic supports, including behaviour support,
  • assistance with household tasks that would enable participants to maintain their home environment,
  • home and/or vehicle modifications, and
  • mobility equipment and assistive technology.

In all instances the supports must relate to a participant’s disability and it can be demonstrated are likely to be beneficial and effective to the participant.

What conditions are eligible for the NDIS?

The NDIS will support a person with a significant and permanent disability or a child aged under 7 years old with a disability or developmental delay, whose condition impacts their ability to carry out tasks, or who require support or assistance with activities such as self-care, social interaction, learning, communication and/or mobility.

The National Disability Insurance Agency does operate lists of conditions that are likely to qualify for NDIS eligibility, but these lists are not the only consideration that would be taken into account when determining eligibility, as the impact of a certain condition on a person’s functioning will range significantly between individuals.

Is ADHD covered under NDIS?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) does not qualify as a disability under the NDIS, making individuals diagnosed with ADHD ineligible for the NDIS. The NDIS recognises many disabilities, including psychosocial disabilities, and if the ADHD is linked to an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or a psychosocial disability, then an individual may be eligible for support for those conditions.

Is NDIS means tested?

The NDIS is not means tested and will not affect other income support participants receive, such as a Disability Support Pension or Carers Allowance. Funds allocated to participants are meant for reasonable and necessary support that are required by participants to live an ordinary life.

How to apply for NDIS?

Individuals already receiving disability support services in Australia can expect to be contacted by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) once the NDIS becomes available in their area. Those not currently receiving disability support services can contact the NDIS for an Access Request Form. You can only join the NDIS if you meet the access requirements, which include:

  • The NDIS already being available in your area.
  • Being under the age of 65-years when you apply.
  • Being an Australian citizen, or holding a Permanent or Protected Special Category Visa.
  • Meeting specific disability requirements and/or early intervention requirements.

Valid access requests will receive a response from the NDIA within 21-days, unless additional documents, assessments and/or evidence is needed.

How does the NDIS work?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is intended to fund and provide a range of services and supports for people with a permanent and significant disability, their families, and their carers. The purpose is to assist people with permanent and significant disabilities in living an ordinary life and increasing their social and economic participation. The NDIS also makes provision for early intervention, access to assistive technology, and support to access community services and activities. The NDIS recognises that everyone has different needs, so plans and support are personalised for all eligible persons. However, the NDIS is not intended to fund services and supports already available through other programs, including Medicare, and is not yet available throughout Australia.

We need help – where do we start?

Just call us. Everyone’s situation is different – (of course!). So everyone starts in a different place. So simply give us a call and we can work out where you’re starting from so you can start on the right path.

What is a Nursing and Wellbeing Assessment?

Sometimes you know you need help but you don’t where to start.

You can have a qualified nurse come to your home and complete a full nursing assessment. The nurse will review your physical and mental health, the medications that you’re taking and see if your home is set up for your needs.

Depending on the situation, the nurse may recommend some care to help you stay at home.

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