How do residential care home fees work?

It can be overwhelming and confusing to know how much residential care costs will apply when moving into residential aged care. Everyone can afford residential care. Depending on income and assets, the Australian Government may pay some fees. We have tried to simplify the residential care costs as much as possible below. For more information, contact our friendly and knowledgeable Admissions Team on 1300 653 600 who are experts in all things aged care.

The costs

The aged care system in Australia involves a few different fees. Not all fees are relevant to everyone, this depends on each person’s income and assets. Centrelink will work out which fees apply.

Fees include:

  • A basic daily fee
  • An accommodation payment or contribution
  • A means-tested care fee
  • Fees for additional services

Basic daily fee

This covers everyday living costs such as meals, cleaning, laundry, heating and cooling. Everyone moving into an aged care home can be asked to pay this fee and it is equal to 85% of the single basic age pension.

Accommodation payment or contribution

This is the amount charged for a room. Some people will have all or part of this cost covered by the Australian Government.

There are 3 main payment options available:

1. Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD)
The RAD is paid up front and is refunded when you leave the care home.

2. Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP)
This payment is accrued daily and is not refunded when you leave the care home.

3. A combination of both
You can combine the above options to suit your budget.


A means-tested care fee

Centrelink will tell you if this fee applies, based on an income and assets assessment. This fee covers the cost of daily care needs such as nursing and personal care.

Connect with us to find out more

If you need more information you can call one of our friendly team members now, or request a callback at a preferred time.

Or if you are ready to register your interest in this service, you can do this online now too.

Advice about Residential Care

If you are considering moving into a residential aged care home, you will first need an assessment with a member of an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). A member of an ACAT will talk to you about your current situation and help you work out what your options are. Once you have completed the ACAT assessment, you will receive a letter to let you know if you have been approved as eligible for Australian Government subsidised aged care services, including home care services and residential aged care accommodation. Your letter will tell you what type of services you’re eligible for and approved to receive, as well as the reasons why.

To work at Helping Hand, you need to be eligible to live and work in Australia. You will need a current national police clearance certificate, or we can help you get one. Many of our roles require specific qualifications, make sure you read the Job Description carefully to see what qualifications are needed. Here are some of the common ones:

Care Worker (residential or community)
Certificate III in Individual Support or equivalent qualification/experience
Community care workers must have a full South Australian driver’s licence and a safe, reliable and registered car

Home Support Worker
Current first aid certificate
Current full South Australian driver’s licence
Safe, reliable and registered car

Enrolled Nurse
A Diploma of Nursing
Current Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency registration
Previous aged care industry experience

Registered Nurse
A Bachelor of Nursing (or equivalent)
Current Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency registration
Minimum 12 months working experience

The cost of residential aged care varies from person to person, depending on which home you are moving into, and your own personal financial situation. The Government may contribute toward your care costs, and you may be asked to contribute towards them too if you can afford it. My Aged Care provides an overview of the costs involved on their website, and we also have an overview on our website, and publish our fees for our homes on each of our residential care home pages.

The Australian Government developed the Charter of Aged Care Rights in July 2019, which you can download here in several languages. It gives information about your rights as a user of aged care services in Australia.

If you would like more detailed information about your rights as an older person, the Legal Services Commission, in partnership with the Office for the Ageing, has developed a guide called Knowing to Know.

In-home care allows you to continue living independently at home. You can tailor the care you receive to meet your needs, and support is offered on a sliding scale from basic to high care needs.

Residential care is there for people who are no longer able to live independently at home, either due to physical frailty or the need for increased support due to conditions such as dementia. Support and care is provided 24/7, including meals, assistance with daily living activities, and lifestyle and activity programs.

Yes. We can arrange tours of our homes by appointment. Entry restrictions may apply depending on current government regulations, and current vaccination requirements are in place. Please call us on 1300 653 600 or click here to arrange a tour.

You can also take a virtual tour of our homes any time on our website, see residential locations page, tours are listed on each care home’s page.