/ Aged Care

Costs To Consider When Assessing Home Care VS Aged Care Facilities

Luckily for everyone navigating aged care options, recent reforms in Australia have made the associated costs more transparent. This is helpful when comparing costs between in-home and aged care facilities. Aged care providers are now required to make their accommodation pricing public. As well, My Aged Care is a great gateway to information on government help available to over 65 year olds.

Below is an in-home care VS aged care facility cost comparison that summarises costs involved in private home-care and costs involved with an aged-care facility. We hope you find it helpful for determining which option is best for your family.


These involve four main costs;

  1. Daily care fee: fixed at 85% of the age pension. All residents must pay this fee. It covers living costs like food, cleaning, heating and power.

  2. Daily means tested care fee: An income and assets assessment will decide if the resident must pay this additional contribution, and if so, how much it is.
    There are annual and lifetime caps on this fee.

  3. Accommodation costs: Often the highest cost involved with an aged-care facility. Some residents will have this covered fully or partially by the government, whilst some need to pay it themselves. Covers the room cost as well as other physical amenities.
    There are no caps on this fee.

Residents who must pay some or all of this cost can choose to do so using one of the following options, or a combination of the two:

  • Refundable accommodation deposit (RAD) or refundable accommodation contribution(RAC)
    Both are lump sum payments and work like an interest-free loan to the aged care provider. The provider can invest this in improvements to their facility and earn interest on it.
    The lump sum is refunded to the resident/their estate if they move or pass away.
    The lump sum is guaranteed by the government (even if the provider goes bankrupt).

  • Daily accommodation payment (DAP) or daily accommodation contribution (DAC)
    Works like a rental payment. Resident pays the aged care provider the daily rate of lost interest on what the lump sum would be for their room.
    The interest rate is currently 5.96% and is always set by the government.
    DAP and DAC payments are non-refundable.

  1. Additional service fees: Some facilities provide extra services (eg hairdressing, cable TV, newspaper delivery). Resident can choose to opt in or out of this.

NB: the average time spent in permanent residential aged care was just under three years in 2017, and many people pass away or leave after 3, 6 or 12 months.


The introduction of Home Care Packages, along with affordable, independent care-worker platforms like Careseekers has allowed thousands of elderly Australians to remain at home as they age. A home-based care plan can be a truly viable alternative to a full-time residential facility, thanks to these resources.

Careseekers directly connects you to thousands of independent care-workers who have the freedom to negotiate whatever rates and schedules they want. No more being at the mercy of times or fees assigned by an agency! What this means for those seeking care is access to an affordable, flexible in-home support plan – forget all those costly extra agency fees, choose as many or few hours a week as you want and arrange an hourly rate that works for your budget. Best of all, Careseekers is an independent Home Care Package provider, so all of our services are eligible for payment with package funds for those who have one.

Whilst our care-workers are free to set their own price, you can generally expect to pay somewhere in the region of the below rates, per hour. Please note that these are estimates based on Sydney rates, so costs may vary depending on where you are.

  • Weekdays;
    $28 for Assistant in Nursing (AIN) without car/$37 for Care Worker with car

  • Weekends and Public Holidays
    $42 for AIN without car/$53 for Care Worker with car
    More on public holidays

If you’re interested in finding a local care-worker, post a job on our site today and connect with independent support-workers in your area.

Looking for home care services for an elderly person? Find a care worker online

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