Federal Government spends up on aged care – but residents and families should prepare to pay more

Federal Government spends up on aged care – but residents and families should prepare to pay more 

Like many, we were disappointed this week by some of the aged care measures in the Federal Budget, particularly the announcement of just 20,000 new home care packages over the next four years. 

These are unlikely to make a dent in the 104,000-plus waiting list, meaning many of those waiting for packages will need to dip into their own pockets to pay for their home care. 

But there are other signs the Government is expecting consumers to pay more for their aged care. 

Providers will now be charged to guarantee residents’ Refundable Accommodation Deposits (RADs), the ‘bond’ you pay to enter residential aged care. 

Previously, the Government guaranteed this pool of funds. If these bonds have over $3 million in defaults in a single year, the Government will now pass the cost onto providers – who will likely pass some or all of this onto consumers.  

More choices – but more money 

The Government has also announced it would expand the Pension Loans Scheme – currently only available to part-pensioners – to allow full-rate pensioners and self-funded retirees who own their home to borrow against the equity in their home. 

This means retirees would be able to boost their income by up to $17,800 without affecting their eligibility for the pension or other benefits – and again potentially fund their own care at home. 

There’s also an extra $7 million being spent on the My Aged Care website to help consumers choose the right option – including a recommendation that we all have online checks of our skills, finances and health at the ages of 45 and again at 65. 

The message is clear. The Government expects us to start preparing for aged care earlier – and be able to contribute to it. 

It’s worth finding out now how you would foot the bill if you suddenly need extra help at home or go into an aged care home. 

You can find more information about researching your options at agedcare101

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A special thanks to our contributors



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.