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An Overview of Nursing Home Costs

Whilst it is a valuable service, nursing home like Sydney Aged Care Financial Advisers costs can be quite expensive depending on the type of accommodation you choose. You may be able to access financial support if you earn under a certain amount or have few assets.

This article explores the major factors that affect how much money you could end up spending on an aged care facility.


Daily living expenses

Also known as a basic daily fee, residents of aged care facilities are required to pay a maximum of $51.21 per day in order to cover things like meals, heating and cooling, cleaning, laundry, personal care, medical care and daily living assistance.


Accommodation payment

The nursing home costs you end up paying depends on your income and assets. If you have under $49,500 in assets or yearly income you generally won’t be required to pay for accommodation. If you earn over this amount, you may be able to choose how you make the payment. The accommodation payment amount depends on the facility you select – special features and certain suburbs may be more expensive than others. Some of the ways you can pay include:

Refundable accommodation payment (RAD)

This consists of a once-off payment made to the aged care facility. The deposit balance should be mostly refunded to you or your estate after leaving the facility.

Daily accommodation payment (DAP)

This is similar to paying rent – nursing home costs are calculated on a daily basis that cannot be refunded. This option is generally paid on a monthly basis and will not be refunded upon leaving the facility.

Combined RAD and DAP

You can also opt to pay a larger RAD and a smaller DAP (or the other way around) depending on your personal preferences. However, you must finalise your payment method within 28 days after entering the aged care facility.


Means-tested fees

A means test will assess your income and financial assets in order to establish how much money you can pay in nursing home costs. If you earn over a certain amount you could be asked to pay an extra fee. There is a price cap on this, however, which is currently just over $27,500 as of March 2019. This contribution could change depending on the state of your assets and income as they change over time.


Additional service fees

You could also be asked to pay extra nursing home costs if you want to move into a more luxurious facility. Extras services could include high-quality internet access, a larger room, a bedside phone, massage therapy and alcoholic beverages.


Financial hardship options

If you are experiencing financial difficulties that make payment challenging you may be able to receive government support through applying for financial hardship assistance. This can help by reducing your accommodation fees.


Fee changes

If you have agreed upon nursing home costs with your service provider, this amount should stay the same throughout the duration of your stay unless you change rooms or aged care facilities.


Respite care

If you simply want a temporary stay in an aged care facility, your nursing home costs will operate on a daily basis – similar to a hotel. This is likely going to be the same basic daily fee amount that permanent residents pay. You may be expected to pay a higher amount if you seek respite in a facility with a higher level of services.



Nursing home costs can be quite expensive, however there are support options for people experiencing financial hardship. Check with the government and your service provider to find out if you can access any financial assistance.