Did you know four in ten aged care providers are making a loss?

41 per cent were in the red in December 2017 compared to 33 per cent in 2015-16, according to the latest data from independent industry analyst StewartBrown. 

Even more are struggling to stay financially viable, especially those in rural and remote areas. The data shows 56 per cent of facilities in those regions are expected to report a loss in 2017-18. 

It’s a sharp contrast to the headlines that argue aged care providers are putting profits before residents. 

In fact, StewartBrown found the average facility is making a return of just 1.82 per cent. 

But the direct costs of caring for residents and the number of hours spent caring for them are both going up. 

How long can this be kept up though? 

An unsustainable system 

StewartBrown says the figures are directly linked to the current freeze on aged care funding by the Federal Government. 

The Government is currently reviewing how it funds aged care after cutting $1.2 billion from the sector over four years back in 2016. 

It deserves a review. Consider this – aged care providers receive a budget of around $260 a day to care for each resident. Hospitals receive $1,900 per day for a hospital patient.  

If one in four of our hospitals was making a loss, it would be front-page news. 

The quality of care in our aged care facilities should be the best. But for the system to do better, it needs cash – from the Government and from consumers. 

With an estimated 83,500 beds needed over the next 10 years, it’s an issue that requires a long-term solution. 

The Government is due to release its 2018-19 Budget next month however. Now is the time to contact your Federal member and demand that aged care gets a funding boost now – our frail and elderly deserve it. 


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A special thanks to our contributors

Antonia Norris

Researcher and Contributor

Antonia has led the operations and growth of the agedcare101.com.au and villages.com.au within the DCM Group in Australia and New Zealand for several years. This has included the research and creation agedcare101 in 2016, the creation of the DCM Institute and Te Ara Institute, the joint contribution of Care & Living with Mercer (CaLM) and the TV series, The Best 30 Years, screened on NINE nationally.



Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the Villages.com.au and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

Ian Horswill


Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, villages.com.au and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.