Take advantage of aged care pricing transparency

Older Australians and their families should take full advantage of the new transparency in pricing and service information for aged care homes, according to the Chief Executive of HammondCare, Dr Stephen Judd.

Prospective residents will be able to access this information on providers’ websites, in their brochures, and on the government’s My Aged Care website. From Monday 19 May, all residential aged care providers in Australia will begin to publish their accommodation prices and payment options, along with a description of the key features of their services.

Easier to understand

Dr Judd welcomed the new pricing arrangements – which come into effect on 1 July – saying they will make it easier for people to understand the complex residential aged care market.

“This kind of information has never been published before,” he said. “It will greatly assist older Australians and their families to think seriously and make informed choices about moving into an aged care home.

“We encourage anybody who is thinking about moving into an aged care home – or assisting a loved one to do so – to investigate the options using the information that’s available and to do their own research. The government’s website, by its very nature, has generic information and I encourage people to look carefully at the provider’s own website to see what it has to say.

Chandeliers or a feeling of home?

“Older people and their loved ones need to consider what they value in an aged care home. Is it more important to have chandeliers and silver cutlery or an accessible and familiar environment that creates a feeling of home? Where will you be able to find the care that best suits your needs?

“Choosing a nursing home is a huge decision and it’s vital to look at more than just the price. Does the home look and feel like a home? People should also think about what drives the organisation, what it specialises in and what sets it apart from its competitors.”

The new requirements for publishing prices and service details are part of a broader series of reforms asking residents with sufficient means to contribute more to the costs associated with residential care.

“All residents will continue to have access to good care and those who can afford to pay their own accommodation costs will now have ready access to a clear and consistent pricing system,” said Dr Judd. “If we want an aged care system that accommodates for both rich and poor, then those who can should be encouraged to pay.”