Whether you are considering options for yourself or deciding how best to help a loved one, residential care funding is complex and requires careful consideration. The uncertainty surrounding where to move, what costs are associated and where the money will come from can not only be overwhelming, but stressful too. We highly recommend you speak to a Pinnacle Financial Advisor who can guide you in making an informed decision.

The following three-step process may help in planning your residential care funding:

Step 1: Assessment for eligibility

Are you eligible to move to a facility? 

Before entering into an aged care facility, your health must be assessed to determine which level of care is appropriate. The assessment can be performed by any doctor, nurse or social worker who is a member of an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).

Step 2: Finding a care home

Do you have to pay any upfront costs?

What should be done with the family home?

To make sure you find a home you are comfortable with that will suit your needs, it may be appropriate to visit a few different places. You can apply to as many different homes as you wish.

The accommodation costs for all aged care facilities are published on the Government’s aged care website. This website also provides details of the rooms and services available.

Types of Aged Care Facilities

There are two types of residential aged care facilities – low level care (hostels) and high level care (nursing homes). The main difference between low and high level care is the level of care provided. Lower level care provides personal care, accommodation and some level of nursing care, whilst high level care provides 24-hour nursing care and accommodation.

Step 3: Organising your finances

What are the ongoing costs and how will you pay them?

On entry to a facility, you will be required to pay either an accommodation bond (once only) or an accommodation charge (ongoing). Some people will have their accommodation costs met in full or part by the Australian government, while others will need to pay the accommodation price agreed with the aged care home.

The Department of Human Services (Centrelink) will advise on which applies to you, based on an assessment of your assets and income.

Regardless of what type of facility you choose, there will also be a basic daily fee to pay and there may be a ‘daily income-tested fee’. Some facilities offer a higher level of service or a higher standard of accommodation or food. If you have chosen a higher level of services there will also be ‘extra service’ fees payable.

More information

We encourage you to speak with a Pinnacle Financial Advisor as residential care funding is a complex area. Not only can they provide you with a strategy that is best suited to your circumstances, they can also keep your plans on track, including any relevant changes in legislation.