Options and levels of care
If you are looking for aged care services for yourself or for a
family member there are a lot of things to consider and options to
Here we explain the different types of aged care services
available and how to work out what they might cost.
Types of aged care services
If you can no longer live independently, or require assistance
in your home, aged care provides you with the living and nursing
care services you may need.
There are three types of aged care: at home aged care,
residential aged care, and transition care and respite care. The
Australian Government subsidises a range of these services, but you
will be expected to contribute to the cost of your care if you can
Aged care help at home
To help you stay in your own home for as long as possible, the
Government provides subsidised home care that can help with
everyday tasks like shopping, cooking and transport; as well as
personal care, meal services and nursing care.
To find out more, visit the My Aged Care website.
Residential aged care
If you can no longer live at home and need ongoing support with
everyday tasks or health care, you may choose to move to an aged
care home (or a nursing home). This type of care can be permanent
or short-term, and help is available 24 hours a day.
To find out more about aged care homes, visit the My Aged Care website.
Paying for residential aged care
Depending on your personal circumstances, you may decide to sell
your family home to enter an aged care facility. You will need to
complete an asset assessment to determine if you are eligible for
assistance with your accommodation costs. Find out more about
assets assessments on the My Aged Care website.
If you move into a residential care facility without selling
your home, it will be exempt from the Age Pension assets test for 2
years from the date you move into care. The start date for the
2-year exemption may vary if you are, or were, a member of a couple
when you moved into aged care. For more information, call the Department of Human
Services on 132 300.
If you don't want to sell your home but are being asked to pay a
refundable accommodation payment, the care provider may allow you
to make a periodic payment instead.
Renting out the family home to pay for care
If you rent your home to pay for periodic accommodation
payments, the value of your former home may count towards the Aged
Care and Centrelink income and assets test, depending on when you
entered aged care. For details, visit the My Aged Care website.
Transition and respite care
Transition and respite care are both short-term care options.
Transition care helps with recovery needs if you have been in
hospital, and respite care helps out if your regular carer needs a
After hospital (transition) care
Transition care is short-term care if you've been in hospital
and need help with your recovery, or you need time to decide about
the best long-term care options.
This type of care can be provided in your own home, in an aged
care home or in another health facility. Services include
low-intensity therapy, access to a social worker, nursing support
for clinical care and personal care. Costs will be agreed with your
service provider before you receive the services.
Respite care is a form of support for you and your regular
carer. It allows you to get the care you need if your carer needs
time to attend to their needs or take a holiday. It can be for a
few hours, a few days, or longer and can be provided in your home
or in another care facility.
Costs vary depending on the type of care you need and your
financial circumstances. In-home services are often charged on an
hourly rate. Day care centres and residential facilities have
different charge arrangements which you can find out from your
local service provider.
Steps to take if you need aged
If you or a loved one need help at home, or to move to a care
facility here are the steps you should take:
- Arrange an Aged Care assessment - This will
determine the level of care required and help you find appropriate
programs and facilities. See the My Aged Care
website for details on ACAT assessments.
- Contact My Aged Care for advice - Call the My
Aged Care Contact Centre on 1800 200 422 or visit the My Aged Care website to
find out what services are available, how you get into them and the
- Find a service provider - You can find details
of different service providers on the My Aged Care
- Assess your finances - You'll need to know the
value of your home and other assets and income to work
out your care fees and/or refundable accommodation
payment. A Department of Human Services Financial Information
Service officer can give you basic information about managing
your finances during your transition to aged care. You may also
want to get some financial advice to maximise your
entitlements and minimise your costs.
If your long-term care needs are changing, find
out what care options are available and choose a service that suits
Last updated: 19 Dec 2018