Guide to aged care

Helping you make an informed decision.

Removing the confusion

Searching for an appropriate aged care home (commonly referred to as a nursing home) can be both difficult and confusing. Often, an event occurs and there is a rush to secure an available place.

This guide will assist you through this process, whether you are planning for your future or requiring immediate assistance.
If you need additional help, please call us on 1300 899 222 and we will answer your questions, provide additional information and help you to make an informed decision.

Step 1.Assessing your eligibility for government support

My Aged Care is the Australian Government’s starting point on your aged care journey. The first step to access government funded aged care services is to get assessed. You can apply for an assessment online or you can call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. Alternatively, your local GP, health centre or hospital can arrange for a referral to the assessment team nearest to you.

Once eligibility has been confirmed and a referral has been made, the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) will visit you at home or in hospital to assess your lifestyle and healthcare needs, and enables them to determine the most appropriate care option for you.

Residential aged care options vary so they will also ensure you have received approval to access the services required which can include permanent care and respite care.

Step 2.Finding an aged care residence

Once you have been assessed by ACAT/ACAS as being eligible for residential aged care, you may choose to start looking for a suitable residence. When looking at aged care residences, it is important to understand what type of care you require, the services you are seeking and your preferred location.

McKenzie has aged care residences across Melbourne, South East Queensland, the Tweed Valley and Sunshine Coast.

We have a range of accommodation alternatives designed to cater for the varying levels of assistance required by each individual entering one of our residences. High and low-level care, as well as extra services, dementia-specific care and respite care, are available to ensure that residents’ nursing and personal care needs are met. These broad service offerings also enable ‘ageing in place’, so even if your needs change, you can still remain with us.

It is important to find the most appropriate residence for you or your loved one and we invite you to call us on 1300 899 222  to find out more about the services, lifestyle offerings and care options available at our purpose-built residences. Our Sales Managers are there to assist you.

Step 3.Working out the cost

The Australian Government assists with the cost of your residential aged care, through the provision of funding to aged care residences. However, the Government also expects those who can afford it to contribute to the cost.

There are four main payment options associated with residential aged care in Australia:

1. Basic Daily Fee (Government Standard Fee)

The Basic Daily Fee is a contribution towards daily living expenses, such as meals, laundry, cleaning, resident activities, heating and cooling. All aged care residents pay a standard Basic Daily Fee. It is reviewed every March and September, in line with Centrelink increases in the Age Pension.

Linked to the Age Pension, this fee is increased in line with the pension on a six monthly basis.

The current daily care fees, as at 20 September 2023 are:

$60.86 (per day) Full pensioners and some part pensioners
$60.86 (per day) Self-funded retirees and some part pensioners

1a. Additional Services Fee

McKenzie Choice+ Additional Services are provided to enhance your stay in aged care by offering entertainment and lifestyle services such as wine and soft drinks with meals, one-on-one companionship, and hairdressing. The cost of additional services varies for each resident, depending on the choice of products, services or packages being purchased. Additional services fees are in addition to those covered by the basic daily care fee.

This fee can be deducted from the RAD or can be paid with your monthly fees, depending upon the chosen payment option.

2. Accommodation Payment

The Accommodation Payment is used to maintain and improve the accommodation and resident services at the residence.

Residents can choose to pay their Accommodation Payment by one of the following methods:

  • RAD – Refundable Accommodation Deposit
    This is a lump-sum deposit that is refunded in full at the end of residency. The Refundable Accommodation Deposit is protected by the Aged Care Act, 1997 (Commonwealth).
  • DAP – Daily Accommodation Payment
    This payment is the interest payable on any unpaid RAD and calculates it into a daily payment.
  • Combination of RAD and DAP
    A combination payment that includes both a partial lump-sum refundable deposit and daily payments.

Supported Residents

Some rooms are available for residents with reduced financial means. Residents with assets under $58,500.00 and income less than $32,331.00 may, with approval, obtain funding from the Australian Government.

Supported residents may be asked to contribute to their cost of care via a Daily Accommodation Contribution (DAC) or Refundable Accommodation Contribution (RAC) or a combination of both, if their assets are between $58,500 and $197,735.20 and their income is greater than $32,331.00.

Residents requiring financial support are obliged to submit a “Request for Combined Assets and Income Assessment”. Centrelink will outline their payment obligation within 14 days. Basic Daily Fees still apply.

3. Means Tested Care Fee (Government Standardised Fee)

The Means Tested Care Fee ensures that residents who have additional income and assets contribute to their medical costs including nursing and personal care. This fee is not retained by the residence

The Commonwealth Government via Centrelink assesses all residents entering a Commonwealth-funded residential aged care facility.

Residents will receive information regarding their Means Tested Care Fee obligations 14 days after the completion and lodgement of the “Permanent Residential Aged Care Request for a Combined Asset and Income Assessment”. If this assessment is not completed then a higher Means Tested Care Fee may be levied until such time as the information is provided.

The Maximum Means Tested Care Fee that a resident can be asked to pay per year is $32,718.57 with a lifetime limit of $78,524.69.

4. Respite Care Fees (Government Standardised Fee)

Respite care is available for short term needs or emergency situations.

Please contact a Client Relations Manager on 1300 899 222 who will be able to give you details of your nearest residence.

Fee Collection

All McKenzie Aged Care residences collect the applicable fees and charges on a monthly basis in advance. Fees are collected by direct debit. Residents will need to complete a Direct Debit Request Form on admission. There is no fee associated with this direct debit service.

* Fees and charges stated on this page are correct as at the last government update on 20 September 2023

Step 4.How do I apply?

Aged care residences offer places when they have vacancies and you can apply to as many locations as you wish. It is important that you visit a range of residences before making any decision or accepting a place, as aged care residences vary greatly.

Visiting a selection will give you a better feel for the services and lifestyle programs on offer, style of accommodation, the physical surrounds (both inside and out) and the approach of the staff. Above all, you will get a sense of whether the residents are truly content and if you would feel happy living there.

Should you decide on a McKenzie residence, you will be required to provide the following documentation:

  • Completed Application for Admission Form.
    Download the Application for Admission Form or call 1300 899 222 for an admissions information pack.
  • A copy of your current Aged Care Assessment
  • Completed Centrelink/DVA Asset Assessment Form (only if you are applying for a supported place)
    Download the Asset Assessment Form or call 1300 899 222 for the form and an accompanying information booklet.

When a place that suits your individual requirements becomes available, you or your representative will be contacted by the aged care residence. Should you choose to accept a place in an aged care residence, you will have up to seven days to move in.

Step 5.Moving and settling in

When a person moves into a McKenzie residence, we become a partner in the continuing relationship with family, friends and the community in which they previously lived. Not only do we become a part of their family and support network, the new resident becomes part of our family.

Our staff will provide the level of support required for the resident to maintain their independence and quality of life. Support comes in various ways, including the provision of daily social activities, assistance with personal care, having access to clinical and medical support or just knowing that they are living in a safe, secure and happy environment.

When you are offered and have accepted a place in one of our McKenzie residences, a Sales Manager will arrange a pre-admission meeting. This will provide you with the opportunity to ask any questions, as well as complete the necessary paperwork.

At McKenzie, we aim to make the transition for a new resident as easy and seamless as possible. When settling into a McKenzie residence you are more than welcome to bring in some of your own furnishings, whether it be a favourite chair, photos or memorabilia.

We look forward to welcoming you into our family.

Further Information

Some useful website links and contact numbers:

Whatever you need, we’re here to help.