If you are looking for any form of specialised care, you will need to spend some money for quality service. Aged care, in Brisbane, is no different! The cost of aged care can seem quite daunting especially because everyone may not have the budget to get all the facilities that they need to make their stay pleasant. What happens then is that you have to compromise on your needs and struggle with life in a lesser home than you would normally like.
However, if you plan ahead then you could ensure that the budget you need for that ideal aged care home is exactly what you can afford. To prepare for that moment, here is a look at the costs associated with life in an aged care home.
The resident fee is a general fee, of sorts, which goes towards the cost of care. This includes personal care, meals, cleaning and the overall maintenance of the home. Depending on the kind of care you require, this fee may include basic daily care, any cost for additional services as well as an income-tested amount, amongst other things.
A booking fee is, normally, required and it is nothing but a pre-payment of the daily fees that need to be paid for the home and its services. The booking fee varies depending on the duration of the stay and the type of stay (respite or regular).
Daily Care Fee
There are two rates for the daily care fee, which are dependent on your status – pensioner or non-pensioner. The pension fee is about 85% of the base pension amount and only those people who receive income support payment are entitled to avail this fee. There is an upper limit to the daily care fee for both genres, and a simple enquiry with the aged care home will reveal this amount.
Income Tested Fee
You will be required to pay an income tested fee during your stay at an aged care home if you have any form of private income that is over and above the pension income test free area. To be exempt of the fee, your daily private income needs to be lesser than $1 a day; or you need to have dependent children, or be a complete pensioner or be an ex-prisoner of war. The income tested fee is around 25c for each dollar of private income or one-fourth of your total private income.
Based on the assets owned by a resident at any point of time, the aged care home may charge an accommodation payment. Providing subsidised accommodation costs or using an accommodation bond or charge is completely the prerogative of the aged care home and if it is in their policies to levy this charge, you have no option but to pay it or find another home.
You will be exempt of these accommodation charges only if you are in the high-care resident category and have either paid the accommodation charges for five years; are in a concessional category according to government regulations, or do not have the necessary asset value to afford that accommodation fee without falling into financial hardship.
In almost every single case of aged care residents, there are plenty of rules and regulations, created by the government, that are focussed on making the financial aspects simpler and more manageable. There is, after all, no point in creating aged care homes that no one can afford to reside in. The government’s subsidies under the Aged Care Act, 1997 ensure that financial help can be provided to those who may need it.
As long as you understand your own situation thoroughly and have a firm grip on your finances as well as a strong understanding of what lies ahead, you should find your transition to an aged care home, quite smooth sailing.
Daniele Rossi – author
Nursing was natural for Daniele who grew up living with her grandparents. Thrust into the care-giver role at an early age, Daniele went onto study for the role and became a professional at various homes for aged care in Queensland. Her experiences as a professional have taken her through many life-lessons and her undying need to give back to the elderly community keeps growing stronger with each assignment.