Finding a residential aged care home near you and understanding the steps needed to enter aged care can be a daunting and overwhelming process. Below we’ve simplified the process, breaking it down into steps, to make this easier for you.

  1. You will need an ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) assessment done for admission into any residential aged care facility in Australia (or to receive a government funded home care package). This will help determine the care you require, and your eligibility. This can be arranged by contacting My Aged Care at They will be able to refer you to your local assessment team.
  2. Once advised on your eligibility, you will be sent your assessment. My Aged Care has a ‘Find a Service’ online directory which will help match a service to your requirements. We recommend you also do your own research to ensure you find an aged care home that best suits you.
  3. You will have to consider the financial implications of moving into aged care and what you need to pay – at this point we suggest you speak with an independent financial specialist, who specialises in aged care, who can advise you.
  4. You will need to apply to the aged care homes that you wish to live in, placing your name on their waiting lists.
  5. Once a place is available, you will complete the necessary paperwork and undergo orientation at your chosen nursing home so you can move in.

What will I be asked to pay?

You may be asked to pay towards your care, accommodation and daily living costs. How much you pay depends on your financial situation. There are strong protections in place to make sure care is affordable for everyone.

The Australian Government sets the maximum fees for care and daily living expenses, and there are also rules about how much you can be asked to pay or contribute to your accommodation.

You may be asked to pay one or more of the following:

A Basic Daily Care Fee.

This covers the cost of your daily care needs (dispensing medication, showering, cleaning etc). For some people, this is the only fee they are required to pay.

A Means-Tested Care Fee.

This is an additional contribution towards the cost of care that some people may be required to pay. The Department of Human Services (Centrelink) or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) will work out if you are required to pay this fee based on an assessment of your income and assets, and will advise you of the amount.

An Accommodation Payment.

This is for your accommodation in your new home and or things such as meals, electricity and laundry. 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. Centrelink will advise you which applies to you based on an assessment of your income and assets.

RAD – Refundable Accommodation Deposit.

If you choose to pay the full amount of the accommodation payment, you will be paying a RAD, which is refunded in its entirety to you or your family once you have passed away or if you choose to leave the aged care facility.

DAP – Daily Accommodation Payment.

If you choose not to pay the accommodation payment in its entirety, you can choose to have this broken down into a DAP, which will not be refunded to you once you have passed away or left the aged care facility.

Fees for Extra Services and Additional Services.

Additional fees may apply if you choose a higher standard of accommodation or additional services. These vary from home to home. Your aged care provider can supply you with details of these services and the fees that apply.

Our aim is to make your life as easy and simple as possible.

We have plenty of simple and easy to follow information available for you. We are always happy to explain about the costs associated with the care we provide. Visit our Contact Us page to get in touch with our friendly team who can assist you with providing more information, or view our Resource Page for downloads.

The Australian Government’s My Aged Care Service is very helpful in outlining what aged care services are available, how to apply for aged care and the fees associated with aged care. Their contact number is 1800 200 422 and their website is

SummitCare can also arrange contact with several independent financial advisors who specialise in helping you make the best financial decisions around care requirements as you age. Contact Us on 1300 68 55 48 if you would like us to assist in arranging this for you.