Types of aged care

Government-funded aged care services include in-home care (care in your home), residential care in aged care (nursing) homes, and short-term care such as respite care. If you’re not eligible, you can choose to access privately funded services, but you will need to pay the full cost yourself.

Care in your home

In-home aged care provides support to help you stay independent for as long as possible. It can help with things like personal care, transport, food, shopping, housework, physio, social activities, and modifications to your home.

The Australian Government subsidises:

Residential care in aged care homes

Residential care in aged care (nursing) homes is for older people who:

  • can no longer live at home
  • need ongoing help with everyday tasks or health care.

The Australian Government subsidises aged care homes to provide care that is available 24 hours a day.

Residential care can be short-term (respite care) or permanent.

Short-term care

Short-term care can help you to improve your wellbeing and independence or get back on your feet after a hospital stay. It can also give you or your carer a break.

You can receive short-term services in your home, an aged care home or in the community.

The Australian Government subsidises:

  • after-hospital or transition care – support for up to 12 weeks to help you recover after a stay in hospital
  • short-term restorative care – support for up to 8 weeks to help you improve your wellbeing and independence
  • respite care – support for a few hours, days or longer to give you or your carer a break.

How to apply for Australian Government–funded care

To access government-funded aged care services, you need to apply for an assessment on the My Aged Care website or call the My Aged Care contact centre.

Privately funded care

Some people are not eligible for government-funded services.

If you are not eligible or are waiting for services to become available, you can access privately funded services. You will need to pay the full cost yourself.

Retirement villages (or retirement homes)

Retirement villages are an option if you don’t need the higher level of care offered by aged care homes. These are not subsidised by the Australian Government so you will need to pay the full cost yourself.

If you’re considering this option, read about retirement homes to find out how they work.

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