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Applying for residential care

We understand that the process of moving into aged care can be daunting. We’ve broken it down into four easy-to-follow steps.

Step 1: Organise your ACAT assessment

If you haven’t already done so, your first step should be to organise a free assessment with an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). For more information, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or visit the My Aged Care website.

Your assessment will determine the type and level of care that you are eligible to receive with government support.

Step 2: Understand the costs and payment options

The costs associated with Eldercare’s homes are outlined on each location’s page.

The cost of residential aged care is made up of three elements:

  • Accommodation
  • Care
  • Additional fees

Your personal financial circumstances will determine how much you will be required to contribute.


You can think about this as being equivalent to renting or buying your room.

Depending on your means assessment, the government may fund all or part of this cost. If you are required to pay or contribute towards your accommodation costs, there are three options:

1. a fully refundable lump sum payment (known as a RAD – refundable accommodation deposit)

2. ongoing, non-refundable rental-style payments (known as DAP – daily accommodation payments)

3. or a combination of both (i.e. part refundable deposit and the rest through smaller, non-refundable payments)

You will have 28 days once you enter care to decide which method you will choose.


Care fees cover day-to-day assistance from carers and clinical staff, wellbeing activities and services such as catering, laundry, cleaning and gardening. There are two elements of the care fee:

1. Basic daily care fee - which everyone moving into an aged care home is required to pay and is set at 85% of the single Centrelink aged pension.

2. Means tested care fee - which is an additional contribution towards the cost of your care based on your means (this will not apply if your assessment concludes that you don’t have the financial capacity to make additional payments). The means tested care fee is subject to both an annual and lifetime cap.

Additional fees

Some aged care homes provide a higher standard of accommodation and extra hotel-type services such as wine with meals, special refreshments, access to Netflix® and high speed wifi, daily newspapers and regular outings. These are often ‘bundled’ for an additional daily fee.

You will also pay additional fees for personalised services such as hairdressing, optical services and for your medications.

For more information visit the My Aged Care website or contact us to talk about the costs and payment options available. You might also seek advice from a specialist financial advisor.

Step 3: Apply for suitable facilities

View each of Eldercare’s aged care homes, then once you understand your care needs and budget, it is time to submit an application online or by phone with our admissions team on 1300 925 414.

Step 4: Accept an offer and move in

When a suitable room becomes available you will be contacted by Eldercare to arrange a tour. You may be formally offered the room following the tour.

Due to the level of demand, you will usually have just 24 hours to accept or decline the offer.

Once you have accepted an offer, we will arrange a moving in day with you.

We welcome your feedback

Every comment, compliment, suggestion and complaint we receive presents an opportunity for us to review the service we offer.

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