E22: Demystifying Costs of Aged Care Homes

Navigating aged care is complex and confusing but there are new sources of free, personalised information. In this episode Justin Bott, Financial Information Officer at Services Australia takes us through a new avenue for assistance.

By the end of 2022, there will be 80 Aged Care Specialist Officers around Australia available for face to face appointments of up to 90 minutes. They will be able to take you through how to access aged care services, eligibility for different types of care, refer you for an aged care assessment and help you understand the financial complexities of aged care services at home or in residential care. For example, the implications for your pension if you move into aged care. You can book an appointment to speak to an Aged Care Specialist Officer (ACSO) in person by calling 1800 227 475 on weekdays from 8am to 5pm.

Moving into an aged care facility usually requires the payment of a substantial payment called the Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD). This means tested payment varies considerably from facility to facility depending on the services provided and room type.

You can find out what aged care facilities are charging in your area by going to My Aged Care Find a Provider and typing in your suburb. If you can’t pay the deposit you can still access aged care. Your payment will come out of your pension.

There is also a means tested daily payment, the Basic Daily Care Fee which is set by the government and capped. However, some facilities charge an additional amount for extra services such as additional recreation. These costs should be transparent from the outset.

You may have to sell your home to have enough funds for the deposit. However, if there is a partner still living in the home, this isn’t required. The deposit is returned when you leave the facility, without interest. The interest is used for upkeep of the facility. There are implications for wills and inheritance, so Justin Bott advises you to get onto this before you need to, by seeking legal and financial advice.

A good starting point is the My Aged Care website.


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