About aged care

Introduction to aged care in Australia

The decision to move into residential aged care can sometimes be a difficult. For some older people and their families, the process can trigger all kinds of emotions – fear, anxiety, guilt, loss or even relief – sometimes all at once.

The first reassuring piece of information you should know is that residential aged care in Australia is strictly regulated by the Government to ensure a high standard of care across the sector. So, while you may find that accommodation styles and standards differ from home to home, you should always receive quality care, no matter where you go.


5 Steps into Residential Aged Care

Costs Explained

Costs explained

Understanding the costs and process of moving into aged care can be confusing. That’s why we've made it as easy as possible with the help of our Payment Calculator and our Five Easy Steps Guide.

Learn more about the costs
types of care

Types of care

We offer care for residents including permanent care, respite and dementia care. Registered nurses are on site at all times and allied health care services include physiotherapy, pharmacy, podiatry, optometry and dental.

Learn more about our care types

Start exploring Opal homes today

Find a home

Commonly asked questions about Aged Care

  • Once you have received your ACAT assessment, you can begin applying to as many care homes as you wish, but once you accept a place, it’s important that you let the other homes know that you no longer require their services.

  • Visiting a range of homes is often one of the best ways to decide which home suits your needs. To help you assess the suitability of the homes you visit, we have attached a short checklist at the end of this section. This will help you assess each home and ask some important questions to the providers you meet with.

  • The Department of Human Services (DHS) is the body that determines your financial situation. To do this, DHS conducts a Combined Income and Assets Assessment, which is a form that you need to complete and submit to the government.

  • Respite care is short-term care, including day respite, to provide your caregivers a break from caring when they need it. It can be planned or on an emergency basis and can be used for up to 63 days in a financial year. Many care homes offer day respite, which offers caregivers some flexibility to attend to personal needs and obligations as they arise.

  • The Combined Income and Assets Assessment form (SA457) is an extensive questionnaire with over 140 questions about what you and your partner/spouse own and earn. It’s important to understand that you are considered to own half your assets with your partner/spouse regardless of who holds the title to the assets. As part of your assessment, you will be asked to provide details of all assets owned by both of you.

  • Accommodation Charge (the cost of your room) - These are set by individual homes and varies from home to home

    • Basic Daily Care Fee (meals, laundry, cleaning and other day-to-day costs) – These are set by the Australian Government and is the same across every home in Australia.
    • Means-Tested Care Fee (to supplement the cost of your overall care) - These are set by the Australian Government based on an assessment of your personal financial situation.
    • Additional Services Fee or Extra Services Fee - (higher-end services and accommodation) These are set by individual homes and varies from home to home.In some homes, Additional Services or Extra Services are optional and in other homes, residents are required to purchase these services as a condition of entry

    For further information download our 5 step guide.