Ageing and aged care in Australia

Receiving care in a residential aged care home

In Australia, the government subsidises different types of aged care services to cater for older peoples’ needs and to support their carers – usually their family.

This is a sensitive and complex area, and for more and more Australians is a decision they will need to make for themselves or a family member in the future. It makes sense to understand the process and plan ahead to ensure you and your family members receive the care they need when they need it.

If you can no longer live at home, there is the option to move into a residential aged care home. An aged care home provides accommodation and help with everyday tasks, personal care or 24-hour nursing care.

Care and services that are provided include:

  • hotel services such as bedding, cleaning, meals, social activities and help in emergencies
  • personal care such as assistance with eating, dressing, arranging access to health professionals and emotional support
  • complex care and services, such as nursing and therapy services

Your care needs will be assessed and approved by ACAT (ACAS in Victoria).

Finding a home

Each home is different, so visiting a selection of homes will help you to find out what you can expect. You’ll be able to see what the accommodation is like and what types of care, services and activities they offer.

It generally takes a few weeks to receive the assessment results from ACAT and can take one to three months to find a suitable aged care home.


The Government pays for the bulk of aged care costs, however, you are required to contribute to the cost of care based on your financial situation. You and your partner’s income and assets will be used to determine the fees that are applicable. Your family home will not be included in the assessment if it is occupied by certain protected persons such as a spouse, a carer or close relative under certain circumstances.

Aged care can be complex and, like other financial decisions, your family can make suitable arrangements as well as good financial decisions.

There are currently more than 121,000 people in need of aged care who are waiting for suitable care. This includes over 40,000 people assessed as needing a higher level of care than they currently have(3). The waiting time for a high-level care package is at least 12 months. It is important that you and your family are aware of these timeframes and plan ahead.

If you or a loved one needs aged care, please contact the team at Omnis Financial Planning in Perth on 08 9380 3555 and we can help.
Disclaimer: This newsletter is for information purpose only and does not constitute advice and does not take into account any of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before you make a decision about whether to acquire a financial product, you should obtain and read the product disclosure statement. NEO Financial Solutions: AFSL 385845 ABN 64 141 607 098.
  • (3) Australian Department of Health ‘Home care packages program data report’ September 2018.