About residential care

Page last updated: 17 November 2017

A range of care options and accommodation are available for older people who are unable to continue living independently in their own homes.

Residential aged care in Australia is subsidised by the Commonwealth Government and is governed by the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act).

Residential aged care provides a range of care options and accommodation for older people who are unable to continue living independently in their own homes. The type of care provided ranges from personal care to assist with activities of daily living through to nursing care on a 24-hour basis.

The Department plays a vital role in developing policies, managing programmes and providing regulatory services to improve the quality of residential aged care in Australia.

Eligibility for residential aged care

To enter Australian Government subsidised residential care, a person must first be approved as a care recipient. In order to determine a person's eligibility and care needs, an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessment must be undertaken.

Read more about ACAT Assessments.

Key facts on residential aged care

  • At 30 June 2013 there were around 186,278 operational residential aged care places.
  • During 2012-13 around 70 per cent of total funding for residential care was provided by the Australian Government.
  • At the same time care was provided in approximately 2,200 aged care homes.

More information