An aged care home (sometimes known as a nursing home or residential aged care facility) is for older people who can no longer live at home and need ongoing help with everyday tasks or health care.

Leaving your own home and entering an aged care home isn’t an easy decision. But it doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. An aged care home can give you the care and services you need to maintain your quality of life.

The government funds a range of aged care homes across Australia so that they can provide care and support services to those who need it. Each aged care home is different, so it's important to choose the right one for you.

Three older men knitting

What can an aged care home provide?

Aged care homes can help you with everyday tasks, personal care, and nursing care. They provide:

Your room and all the things that come with it - including your furnishings and bedding.

Services to meet your day-to-day needs such as meals, laundry and social activities. It also includes the services that maintain the aged care home. This covers cleaning, heating and cooling, and maintenance of the grounds and building.

Personal care help such as bathing, eating, help with taking medications, and carrying out health treatments.

Clinical care according to your needs. This can include special bedding, nursing services and therapy services such as speech therapy, podiatry (foot care) and physiotherapy.

How does it work?

The Australian Government subsidises a range of aged care homes in Australia. This means affordable care and support services can be accessed by those who need it. The subsidies are paid directly to the aged care home. The amount of funding that a home receives is based on:

  • an assessment of your care needs by an independent assessor
  • how much you can afford to contribute to the cost of your care and accommodation (using a means assessment)

To get the funding, subsidised aged care homes have to meet Aged Care Quality Standards to ensure quality care and services are provided.

Australian Government-funded aged care homesAged care homes not funded by the Australian Government

You can find a list of subsidised aged care homes on this website using the Find a provider tool.

  • Some aged care homes don’t receive subsidies from the Australian Government
  • Retirement homes or independent living units don’t necessarily provide care services
  • Retirement homes are regulated by state and territory governments

These aged care homes and retirement homes aren’t listed on this website, but you can read more about them on our non government-funded providers page.

What will it cost?

Each home sets their own prices, within a prescribed limit, and costs will vary. How much you will have to pay depends on the place you choose and an assessment of your income and assets. Typically, there are three types of costs associated with all aged care homes:

A basic daily fee (the maximum is currently $61.96 per day)
A maximum amount that everyone pays for the hotel services they receive.

Accommodation costs
A varying cost for your room based on a means assessment.

Means tested care fee (the maximum is currently $416.05 per day)
A varying cost for the care services you receive based on a means assessment.

You can get an idea of what you may have to pay by using the fee estimator.

Read more about the costs and fees on the aged care homes costs page.

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Am I eligible for a subsidised place?

Eligibility is based on need, determined through an assessment.

To be eligible, you must be unable to live independently at home and can be either:

  • an older person
  • a younger person with a disability, dementia or other special care needs not met through other specialist services.

Your financial situation doesn’t affect your eligibility to live in a government-subsidised aged care home. It will impact the amount you may have to pay.

Check if you meet the requirements for an assessment or if you are ready, apply for an assessment now.

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Ready to apply for an assessment?


Apply online now

How long does it take?

Finding the right aged care home for you can take some time, so it’s best to start early. To find out if you are eligible, call My Aged Care to request an assessment of your care needs or find out more about what’s involved.

Myra's experience

See what Myra enjoys most about living in an aged care home. 

MYRA: My name is Myra. I have seven children, 24 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. I live here in the Orange Aged Care. You have everything done for you, you know, you just go up to the table and you have all your meals served. And the nurses, you’ve only got to ask ‘em, you know, they’ll do anything, even Joanne and Kim, they’re absolutely fantastic.

JOANNE: Myra’s one of my lovely favourites and we’re very happy to have her here. I try and give them a wide range of things to do, but always having that choice of what they want to do.

MYRA: We do exercises every morning at ten. It’s only gentle exercises in the chair, but at least it’s something. So I go to that or I just go outside and go for a walk. The animals are all out there, we go out and talk to them or feed them.

JOANNE: Using animals for therapy can aid in so many things, it’s keeping them involved and keeping them active, which is what we want to do.

MYRA: We do have a therapy dog, he’s Maltese and his name is Bowie. He wanders around and he sits on our lap or whatever. He wears his little tie in every day, when he comes in he’s working. Well a hair person comes in Monday and Friday. She’s very good, everybody loves her.

When the family comes, if we want a cup of coffee or tea, we just go and sit in the café and have it. They know they don’t have to worry because I’m quite happy here. I don’t think I’d go anywhere else.