Aged care is that the support provided to older people in their house or in an aged care (nursing) home. It can include help with everyday living, health care, accommodation, and equipment like walking frames or ramps. Government-funded aged care services are available to eligible people.
Support for older people as they age
As you get older, it can become harder to do things on your own. You may need help with cleaning, health problems, or moving about.
Aged care is the support provided to older people who need help in their own home or who can no longer live at home. It can include:
- help with everyday living — such as housework, shopping, cooking or social outings
- equipment — such as walking frames
- home modifications — such as handrails or ramps
- personal care — such as dressing, eating, bathing or going to the toilet
- health care — such as nursing, physio or medical care
- accommodation — if living at home is no longer the best option
Aged care can help you to:
- stay connected to your community
- take care of your health and safety
- meet your cultural and social needs
Types of aged care services
Aged care services include:
Care in your home – in-home aged care provides support to help you stay independent for as long as possible. It can help with things like personal care, transport, food, shopping, housework, physio, social activities, and modifications to your home.
Residential care in aged care (nursing) homes – Residential care in aged care (nursing) homes is for older people who: can no longer live at home and need ongoing help with everyday tasks or health care
Short-term care (such as after-hospital and respite care) – Short-term care can help you to improve your wellbeing and independence or get back on your feet after a hospital stay. It can also give you or your carer a break. You can receive short-term services in your home, an aged care home, or in the community.
How do you access aged care?
It steps you through how to get an assessment — to check whether you’re eligible — and organise services. If you can afford to, you are expected to help with some of the costs.
If you’re not eligible or waiting for funded services to become available, you can access privately funded services at any time. You will need to pay the full costs yourself. You can find out how to access government-funded services on the My Aged Care website.
You may be eligible for government-funded aged care services if you:
are 65 years of age or older (50 years or older if you identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person)
need help to do the things you used to do
Some people may be eligible at a younger age.
Our aged care system helps older people to live independently in their homes. It also provides support and accommodation when this is no longer possible.
To make sure government-funded aged care is fair, easy to access, and safe:
- the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission focuses on quality, accreditation and compliance monitoring
- the Aged Care Pricing Commissioner assesses fee increases
- the Department of Health oversees the aged care system and develops aged care policy
In 2017-18, over 1.3 million older people received some form of aged care. The great majority received home-based care and support, and relatively few lived in residential care.
A version of this article was originally published on https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/aged-care/about-aged-care/what-is-aged-care