Residential Care: Hostels and Nursing Homes

The Aussie Over 50s Guide to Residential Care and Accommodation!

The Australian Federal Government is the regulator and part funder for the provision of residential aged care. Catering for those people that are frail and older who are no longer able to live independently in their homes.

The two levels of care "hostels" and "nursing homes", or as they are officially known "low level residential care" and "high level residential care"

A person must be assessed and approved by an Aged Care Assessment Team before they are able to enter a hostel or nursing home. These teams are normally made up of Doctors, Nurses and social workers. They can be usually found at hospitals, medical centres, centres for the aged and some community centres. In some circumstances they are able to visit these people in their homes or in hospital to make an assessment.

Service and Care

Nursing Homes and Hostels (Residential caring facilities) for the elderly or aged need to provide the following care and services:


For all these residents irrespective of their level of care

Low Level Care Services

For all the residents irrespective of their level of care

High Level Care Services

High Level care residents only

Accommodation and Services need to include the following

Administration and all resident documentation, plus basic style accommodation and the related services, such as furnishings and bedding. They are to provide quality meals, including any special dietary requirements. Some Laundry, the supply of linen, towels, hand towels, washers, soap and toilet . paper. Full cleaning services need to be provided and including the maintenance of buildings and grounds. Qualified staff are required to be continuously on call to provide any and all emergency assistance.

Low level care services are personal care type services

They will include, assistance with any activities in daily living, like toileting, bathing, when necessary feeding and eating, daily and evening dressing, mobility and communication with others. Other care assistance will be offered with certain treatments and procedures, including assistance with medication, recreational therapy and rehabilitation support. Assistance with the accessing of health and therapy services support for people who have language difficulties or understanding difficulties.

High level care services are nursing type services and additional personal care services

They will include specialised furnishings and or equipment mobility items, wheelchairs, lifting machines and hand held devices, walking type frames, medical and pharmaceutical supplies. Toilet aids such as raised seating, rails and any equipment that aids or assists with toileting and continence management. Nursing procedures and administration, the provision of therapy services and supply of oxygen and equipment. Continence aids need to be provided at no charge for high level care residents.

Low level care residents who need continence aids are able to arrange with the hostel to provide them however this will attract an additional charge. Some residents do supply or obtain their own.

Veterans and war widows are often entitled to additional services via the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Fees and Charges - General

At the time people move from home to a residential nursing home or hostel, changed circumstances can affect those that are on a pension and one needs to seek professional advice. People are advised to do this in advance so that financial affairs can be place in order to gain the best possible advantage.

It should be noted that GST is not payable for Commonwealth Government funded residential aged care services. However there is a GST generally payable on additional services, that may be used by the resident.

Fees and Charges - Occurring in Hostels

Hostels differ from one another so keep in mind people may be asked to pay an extra a basic daily fee or a accommodation bond and often an extra service fee may be requested if the hostel provides something special in the way of superior accommodation and a like.

Fees and Charges - Occurring Nursing Homes

Similar to the Hostels a Nursing Home remembering each one can be a little different, people may be asked to pay, basic daily care fee, an additional daily care fee, an accommodation charge, or maybe an accommodation bond and like the Hostels an extra service fee may be requested if the Nursing Home provides something special in the way of superior accommodation and a like.

Fees and Charges - Medical Expense and Tax Offsets

It should be noted that the expenses mention in the Hostels and Nursing may qualify for the medical expenses tax offset. Ask the nursing home or Hostel to direct you or contact the tax Office.

Quality Standard Safeguards

A number of safeguards have been put in place to protect and ensure Hostel or Nursing Home residents receive adequate quality of care and services. It is a very good idea to complete a personal investigation on the accommodation before entering

Accreditation Hostels and Nursing Homes must satisfy a set of stringent Accreditation Standards before and to receive Commonwealth Government funding. These stringent standards cover Management and organizational development, health, personal care, lifestyle, safety, hygiene and cleanness. Plus the quality of buildings, surroundings and how they are maintained. When a Hostels or Nursing Homes is accredited, they are monitored regularly to ensure there continued compliance.

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