My aged care

Aged Care – it’s a term that encompasses a wide variety of packages, services and supports. If you’re beginning your aged care journey, you may be unsure exactly what is covered by aged care services, and what you can access, how it will help, and who you can turn to for support. This handy guide will help you discover all the aged care services and assistance available to you in Australia, and what they can do to help you take the right steps on your aged care journey.

Online services

My Aged Care website

The My Aged Care website is a hub of information about all the aged care services you can access. It should be your first port of call when it comes to accessing aged care services. On this handy and informative website you can find just about everything you need to know about aged care, including:

  • checking your eligibility
  • applying for assessment
  • finding and assessing aged care providers
  • managing your services

Plus, you’ll also find a whole host of relevant and useful information. Go here:

Eligibility for aged care

ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team)

The Aged Care Assessment Team (known as ACAT throughout most of Australia, or ACAS – Aged Care Assessment Services – if you live in Victoria) is responsible for assessing whether people are eligible for aged care in a residential aged care facility. Everyone wanting to access aged care services must be assessed by this service first. To apply for an ACAT assessment, click here:

Care in your home

Short-term and flexible care

If you need short-term care services, these may be available either in a residential setting or your own home, in circumstances such as:

  • Transitioning from hospital to home
  • Recovering from an illness or accident
  • Returning you to independence

Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or go to for more information on the assessment process and the types of care you can access.

Home support programme

If you want to stay in your own home as long as possible, there are services you can access to help you do just that. The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) can fund entry-level aged care services in your home, including:

  • Personal care
  • Housework
  • Food and meal preparation
  • Transport
  • Shopping
  • Social support

For information on the types of care you can access and the assessment process, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or go to

Home Care packages

If you need greater support to remain living in your home, that is possible too. The Home Care package program provides support in your own home, but at a more in-depth level, to help you remain at home for longer. The type of care provided might include:

  • Personal care
  • Nursing
  • Support services
  • Allied health services
  • Clinical services

For information on the assessment process and the types of care you can access, call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or go to

Residential care

Residential respite care

Residential respite care in an aged care home is available in circumstances such as:

  • If your carer/s are unable to care for you for some reason
  • If your carer simply needs a break
  • If you have a higher level of care needs for a short period of time
  • If you would like a break from caring for yourself

Under this scenario, you would receive the same level of care as a permanent aged care resident when you access this service. You can access 63 days each financial year on a planned or emergency basis, and can extend this time in lots of 21 days by contacting your local ACAT service. An ACAT assessment is necessary before accessing this type of care, and your needs will be weighed against the availability of help in your area.

For emergency respite care, call your local Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222 during business hours, or 1800 059 059 outside business hours.

Long-term residential care

A residential aged care facility can provide residential accommodation and round-the-clock health care for older people who are unable to remain living in their own homes. They provide help with day-to-day tasks, personal care and clinical care, as well as specialist medical and health care. Most aged care facilities in Australia are funded by the Federal Government to subsidise the costs of the services they provide; and all must meet certain accreditation standards.

Accessing quality aged care

The National Aged Care Advocacy Line

The process of accessing aged care services can be confusing and confronting for many older people. This helpline provides free, independent and confidential advocacy services for those needing more support, assistance, or help understanding the process. Advocacy Services can help you access government-funded aged care services and advise you on your rights and responsibilities. Talk to them on 1800 700 600.

Non-compliance checker for aged care homes

The My Aged Care website now takes the guesswork out of finding out whether an aged care facility you are considering is meeting the required standards. It provides a checker to help you discover whether an aged care facility has received any sanctions or notices of non-compliance. You can check facilities here:

Serious Risk reports

You can also access a register of serious risk decisions for residential services here, as well as audit and consumer experience reports that give you greater detail on the quality of care provided by an aged care facility:

Financial supports

Fee estimator

Fees for residential aged care are subsidised by the Australian Government for eligible Australians, and can vary widely depending on your individual circumstances and are subsidised by the Government for eligible Australians. If you are eligible, and if you can afford to, you may need to contribute to the cost of your care and accommodation. To get a

likely estimate of your fees, you can use the aged care homes Fee Estimator on the My Aged Care website here:

Financial hardship assistance

You can access financial hardship assistance from the Government if you are having difficulty paying for your care and accommodation costs for reasons beyond your control. You might be able to get financial assistance with care fees and accommodation costs. For more information, go to the My Aged Care website or call 1800 200 422.

Services Australia Financial Information Service

This free and confidential service provides basic information about managing your finances as you get older. You can access it by calling 132 300 (say ‘financial information service’ when prompted).

While this is not an exhaustive list of all the aged care services available in Australia, it covers the main services and supports you will need.