As loved ones it can be an incredibly hard and emotionally taxing decision to transition an elderly resident from their home to an aged care facility.

Not only is this move monumental to signify the end of an era, but it can prove to be a major logistical challenge for participants who have a lot to consider.

Nursing home costs cannot be calculated on a one-size-fits-all basis, as there are unique circumstances that will affect how the facility will arrive at the bill.

From geographic proximity to level of care and insure premiums that are on offer for the resident, understanding how much of an investment is needed can be a struggle for many citizens.

Here we will look at some helpful strategies to ensure that this task is not as challenging as it may appear on the surface.


Means Testing

The first approach that must be taken when looking at nursing home costs is to obtain a means test. This will be a fee that will be worthy of the investment as it will outline with clarity what will be billed and why it is structured in that format. From couples who have to be judged according to 50% of their available assets and income to those singles who are judged to 100% of their own assets and income, means testing helps all parties understand who is in ownership of various properties and what can be leveraged to compensate the ongoing costs. Recipients of public means testing will likely be eligible for a government subsidy for their care, so there is great motivation for participants to engage these services in 2019.


The Daily Home Fee

From cleaning and utilities to laundry, meals and entertainment needs, nursing home costs will consist of a daily home fee that covers much of the essentials. A good gauge to understand how much this will be set at is the Age Pension, with an 85% figure for the daily home fee deriving from that initiative thanks to the Department of Human Services.


Essential Accommodation Costs

Much like a resident paying rent to their landlord, nursing home costs incorporate accommodation fees. Facilities that enjoy open pools, gyms, theaters and added amenities will see these figures escalated accordingly, but even the most basic locations still utilise these fees to cover maintenance and council transactions.


Basic or High Quality Care Requirements?

If there is a major disability or impairment that the individual is managing on a day-to-day basis, that will elevate the level of care necessary to increase the nursing home costs comparatively. This will be part of the means testing assessment as this distinction will help clients be pointed in one of two clear directions for their aged care provider.


Quality of the Facility

Nursing home costs will often be the end result of a facility that will either be operating in the interests of the residents or neglecting their clientele to exploit them for financial gain. A strategy that is often helpful for siblings, carers, friends or family members who are checking the market for providers is to assess the management style, feedback on nurse practices, instances of complaints and the capacity to be transparent when it comes to incorporating additional fees or offering lower rates and financial enticements. This is a broad talking point that can encompass a number of elements, but the fundamental task in this environment is to use a strong degree of common sense and instinct to judge the facility on merit.



There will always be a dilemma for residents who are mulling over nursing home costs – do you seek the cheap option or compromise on money for added value? These important steps will help to offer clarity on that matter. Speak with experienced consultants and friends and family members who know the market.