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Home care or a nursing home? Here are some aged care options

According to a recent study by McCrindle, nearly 90% of Australians aged 50 and over said they’d prefer to live out their days in their own home. However, most people also admitted to not having given much thought about aged care options, and what support they might need.

Preparation and planning are lacking

In a national survey of more than 1,000 Aussies aged 50 and over, responses revealed the following:

  • 46% of older Aussies haven’t discussed their wishes around their future care with anyone
  • 75% haven’t taken any steps to ensure they’ll receive their preferred means of future care
  • Around 40% aren’t confident they or the government will be able to sufficiently fund their care needs, with only 9% having a secure financial or savings plan in place
  • 30% have been involved in organising care for a parent in the past, but admit they had to make decisions quickly and with limited information.

Why conversations need to be had

Today there are more than 3.8 million Australians aged 65 and older (compared to 1.7 million 30 years ago), with that number expected to increase to 7.5 million in three decade’s time.

Australia’s ageing population indicates that it’s not just older people who need to prepare for future aged care needs, but all Australians, who need to talk to their families, while prioritising finances and ensuring they’re informed about the services available.

In-home care the fastest growing sector

Over a ten-year period, the number of people receiving aged care in Australia grew from 189,000 to 249,000, with in-home care the fastest growing sector within the care industry, outperforming growth in residential care by five to one.

Staying at home is a priority for many older Australians, with 74% indicating they’d likely use in-home care services and 82% saying they’d be prepared to pay for such services to live at home for longer.

With 33% of older Aussies not aware that the government funds certain in-home care services, the research highlighted that there was a need for more awareness around aged care support.

Aged care options available

More than 50% of Aussies over age 45 have previously or are currently dealing with aged care services for themselves, or on someone else’s behalf, which is why considering your options in aged care earlier rather than later could provide you or a loved one with greater flexibility.

Each aged care service available in Australia has eligibility criteria and an assessment process which can be organised through the government’s My Aged Care initiative.

Keep in mind that the costs of different aged care services vary and may depend on income and assets, as assessed by the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Here are some of the options:

Help in your own home

If you’re generally able to manage, but require some assistance, there are various home-care packages available that may help with things such as getting dressed, catching transport, cooking, making modifications to your home, as well as a range of other things.

Short-term help

  • After-hospital (transition) care: If you’ve been in hospital but need assistance while you recover, this type of service can be provided in your own home or ‘live-in’ setting.
  • Short-term restorative care: This provides a range of services to help prevent or slow down difficulties with completing everyday tasks. It aims to delay or reverse the need to enter long-term care.
  • Respite care: This service provides support for you and your primary carer when your carer has other duties to attend to, or when they’re on holiday.

Residential aged care

This is where you live in full-service residences and receive ongoing care and support. If it’s the best option for you, it’s a good idea to research and visit several homes to find the right place for you.


Source: AMP News & Insights November 2018


  • Sarah Smith / February 8, 2019 at 10:35 am

    I didn’t realize that over 70% of Australians would rather use in-home care services than go to a residential aged care facility. With that in mind, I will start looking into options for my mother. She would probably like to stay in her home, so finding a reputable caretaker to see to her daily needs would be good.

    • Admin Marketing / March 7, 2019 at 9:17 am

      Hi Sarah, Sorry for the delay in replying – We’re still getting the hang of the technology! Thank you very much for your comments. Speaking from personal experience with my parents and in-laws, yes, they want to stay somewhere familiar and they want to maintain their independence for as long as possible. Getting them assistance to do stay at home can be as easy as cleaners, gardeners and home delivered meals (Think on line grocery shopping, Light & Easy or Hello Fresh!). Sometimes services can even been supplied at a discount rate by community organisations or the government. Therefore staying at home can also be cheaper than a nursing home. But of course, it all depends on whether they can still physically & mentally look after themselves well enough to stay at home rather than needing more constant assistance and/or company. Good luck! Melissa