Lifestyle Living Options

From 1 July 2014, there are things you need to know about the fees you may need to pay for aged care. Changes to fees are part of Government reforms to the aged care system to make it more sustainable and affordable.

How do I access aged care

You will need an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessment to access a Home Care Package or move into an aged care home. The ACAT assessment is free and the eligibility requirements have not changed under the reforms. However, there has been some changes to how long an ACAT approval is valid for.
Residential aged care fees and payments have changed

The new arrangements mean that your income and assets will be taken into account in establishing the fees and payments you may be asked to pay. The basic daily fee has not been affected by these new arrangements.

You may be asked to pay one or more of the following fees in residential care:

A basic daily fee – This covers living costs such as meals, power and laundry. For some people this is the only fee they are required to pay.

A means-tested care fee – This is an additional contribution towards the cost of care that some people may be required to pay. The Department of Human Services will work out if you are required to pay this fee based on an assessment of your income and assets, and will advise you of the amount.

An accommodation payment – This is for your accommodation in the home. Some people will have their accommodation costs met in full or part by the Australian Government, while others will need to pay the accommodation price agreed with Sapphire Care. The Department of Human Services will advise you which applies to you based on an assessment of your income and assets.

Fees for extra or additional services – Additional fees may apply if you choose a higher standard of accommodation or additional services. Sapphire Care can provide you with details of these services and the fees that apply.

There are annual and lifetime caps in place to limit the amount of the means-tested care fee you will need to pay.

You can apply for financial hardship assistance if you believe you will have financial difficulty contributing to the cost of your Home Care Package.

When you move into an aged care home, you will negotiate an agreement that will set out the fees and charges you will be asked to pay.

Aged Care facilities are now required to provide the maximum price (accommodation payment) you may be asked to pay. These are updated regularly and available as a downloadable PDF on each of the Residences page.

What you need to know about Aged Care placement

The rules concerning Aged Care placement and financial considerations have recently changed. If you would like to find out more, please contact our Residential Services Team for a confidential, no-obligation discussion about the future.
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Assessing your Eligibility

To find out if you are eligible for Australian Government support for residential aged care you will need to be assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Services (ACAS) team.

An ACAS assessment is a free assessment funded by the Australian Government, and is completed by a team of health professionals who provide information, advice and assistance to older people who are having difficulty living at home. The ACAS team will visit you and ask you questions about your lifestyle and health needs. This will enable the team to determine the best, and most appropriate, care option for you. This assessment then approves your eligibility for entry into residential aged care, or for a package of community care to assist you to continue living at home.

If you have been approved by ACAS for residential care you will not need to be assessed again, unless your care needs change significantly.

Choosing a suitable Home

Once you have been assessed by ACAS as being eligible for residential aged care, you may choose to start looking for a suitable aged care home.

The Fees

While the Australian Government helps with the cost of your residential aged care, by providing funding to aged care homes, it also expects those who can afford it to contribute to the cost.

All residents moving into an aged care home can be asked to pay:

A basic fee – paid by all people who receive residential care. For some people, this is the only fee they may need to pay.
A means tested care fee – an extra contribution towards the cost of care that residents may need to pay, on top of the basic fee, depending on income and assets.
An accommodation payment – a payment for accommodation in an aged care home. Some people will have their accommodation costs paid in full or in part by the Australian Government. Others will need to pay the accommodation price they negotiate with their aged care home.

Fees for extra or additional optional services – a premium daily fee exists if a higher standard of accommodation is chosen or additional services are included.


Once you have selected a Sapphire Care residence you will need to provide the following documents to our Client Service Manager:

- Complete an Application for Residency Form

- A copy of your Aged Care Assessment (ACAS)

- Centrelink/DVA Assets Assessment (only applicable if you are applying for a supported placement)

Moving and Settling In

When you have accepted a place at Sapphire Care, our Client Service Manager will arrange a pre admission meeting where you will be provided with a Resident Agreement which is between Sapphire Care and the resident. This will set out the terms of your residency, your rights, and the responsibilities of Sapphire Care. We may also ask that you complete additional forms prior to admission and will provide you with a resident handbook.

When transitioning into care you are more than welcome to bring in your own soft furnishings, pictures and memorabilia or a favourite piece of furniture.

Residential Care income and assets Threshold

For further information and an obligation-free discussion with our friendly, qualified and caring staff, please contact us today.

What others say about us…

What we say about ourselves is far less important than what others say about us.

Each of the following testimonials have been received unsolicited by Sapphire Care, either via email or in writing. The originals of each of these testimonials is held by us, along with many others we haven’t published at this stage.

Why not come and experience our exceptional care, lifestyle and surroundings for yourself?

Hi Jane,

As we discussed with you when we met, my family and I are so grateful to your team for the wonderful manner in which they have cared for mum and dad.

The administration staff at Hilltop have been exceptionally helpful in dealing with the family in all matters whether financial or handling the emotional difficulty of us “letting go” in the day to day sense. My sister Louise found them to be so flexible and helpful in managing the short-term stay for mum turning into long-term care and then dealing with the issue of dad joining her at Hilltop.

The staff treat my parents with a constant level of respect and good humour which has made the transition into care so much easier both for them and the rest of the family. You should be proud of your team and the culture at Hilltop. We are certainly very grateful to them.

Frank Viola, Managing Director, Imparts

I would like to say, on behalf of Stan Anastasiou, that the care my father has been receiving has been excellent. The staff here have been patient, very caring and kind to dad. The facility is also kept very clean, and the food supplied is very good, and quite varied. I give you a 10 out of 10: extremely likely to recommend Sapphire Care!

Thank you, George Anastasiou

Dear Ella

I would like to thank all staff at Westgarth for making my mother feel so comfortable. She adores all staff members and they are always willing to assist in any way they can. I would highly recommend Westgath to friends.

Thank you, Carole Walker

Thank the staff for their care. Very polite and we thank you for your patience. Your care is very much appreciated, always good manners.

Thanks, Nilva Coco

Dear Ella,

We wanted to thank you again for all your care of our Mum, Tilly, and of us too. Your thoughtfulness and kindness meant so much during the final days of Tilly’s life. We will always remember this time with deep gratitude. We wish you well.

Love Ali, Fiona & Vivienne McIlwaine

To all the wonderful Westgarth Staff Who cared for our Mum “Ivy Doris” With much love xxxx

From Dorothy, Beverley, Peter + Tony xx

I would like to thank the staff for their caring and attention in the past few weeks. They are very special.

Joy Roberts – Resident

Thanks to Grossard Court Carers and staff for taking care of our loved ones (Robert) for fourteen days.

Kind regards, Dotti Hamilton

I want to give a huge compliment to the nurses and carers over the last 2 weeks. They have been just wonderful and caring. Most of them were so sympathetic and did some horrible jobs for me. For their sake (and mine!!)

Robin Hanna – Resident

Dear Ms. Dunlop,

Thank you and the residents, staff, families and visitors of Grossard Court Aged Care Facility for the magnificent donation of toys and gifts given to the Peninsula Toy Run held one 1st December last.

John Smollen, the Organizer of the Toy Run and our Committee are most appreciative of the generosity and continued support of all concerned, and wish me to pass on their thanks.

The run was most successful when approximately 315 bikes carrying around 400 people arrived at the Rosebud Secondary College from Frankston pier where morning tea was enjoyed.

With our very best wishes to you all for 2013, and thank you again for your kindness and for caring.

Yours sincerely, Diane Falconer, Member of Co-ordinating Committee for Christmas Giving

Dear Robyn,

I would like to compliment Noeline on her promptness of my request that Philip wanted more fruit. Janice when I spoke to her about a review I asked for in December of the Physio about a cushion or anything else that might give Philip more comfort.

I said at the time was happy to buy whatever he suggested. Went to see Phil on Wednesday and Janice had already organized a cushion. Sam, who was very understanding about the pretend money. She will give it to Phil when he requests more money and keep the real money for haircuts. You run a very good ship. Thank you to you and all the staff for the wonderful work you do.

Sandra Le Gassick

Both Andrew and myself had a beautiful roast meal with Julian and the staff were wonderful the way they looked after us.

With regards, David Garrett

Thank you for your love and care given to our Mother and Aro, Rosalia. Our family here, and in Switzerland appreciate all you have done.

Love from Joe and Gaye and family

To Mel, Kathy and all staff in Tuli, I would like to thank you all for your kindness, support and understanding over the past five years and four months of looking after Dad, he really enjoyed the Bus Trips, ice-creams, music and concerts.

Thank you, Jenny Ward

Very big thank you Noelene. Mel, Sirhan, Peter and all the staff for your amazing care.

From Judy and the family

Hi Leanne,

I will be away for the next few weeks and may not be back in time to talk to the Accreditation team but I want to go on record that all family members and I are thrilled with the wonderful, patient, attentive and personalized care that my mother is getting at Grossard Court.

The facility is impeccable, you take the time to find simple activities and stimulation that suits mum even though her cognition is so damaged, she is always clean and her hair is washed and looks cared for, her clothes match, your staff is unfailingly observant, patient and gentle, finding distractions and intervening with kindness when she becomes difficult.

You never fail to get in touch when they is something I need to hear (eg mum has an observed fall and is perfectly fine) or follow through if I make a request.

We are so grateful that we have got her out of the horrid place she was in before, which was the exact opposite of the above (I don’t understand how they can be accredited). Please feel free to use this testimonial in any way that can be helpful to you. Once again, we are so grateful.

(P.S Also, you feed your residents REAL FOOD)

Regards, Helen Dafner

Just like to compliment Mandy up in Tuli at the moment – a very competent nurse and has a very caring eye for each patient.

Much appreciated! Wendy Humbert

To all the lovely staff at Grossard Court who have assisted and supported the ‘carers in transition’ program being a success, id like to say a big thank you. Its your generosity in the spirit of partnerships that really assist in making it all come together.

Michelle Butler, Latrobe Community Health Service, Care Support Programs

Both Andrew and I had a nice lunch, special thanks to kitchen staff and Christine and staff in Tuli.

David Garrett

To Noelene and Jo,

Thanks so much for all your help and support. I appreciate the effort you went to in organising beds etc. I have been very informed with the level of care dad has received from Grossard – he looks so much better. Thank you.

Heatheley (Tony Freeman’s Daughter)

To all the wonderful staff at Grossard Court,
We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone for the care, support
and love that you gave Trevor and have continued to give Heather and her family.

With thanks and appreciation, The Hershaw Family

On behalf of my family we cannot thank all the staff enough for the kindness that they have shown both before and after Dad’s passing. All the staff need to be complimented on the level of care that we have experienced.

Thanks, Rhonda Smith

To All Staff and Julie,

Thank you very much. Your care and patience looking after… We really do appreciated all your kindness.

Betty McKenna & Family

I would like to compliment all the staff on the way they went out of their way to make Cup Day a lovely day. Thank you.


To all the staff,

Thank you so much for all the kindnes
s, compassion and respect you showed mum (Joan Langston) over the years she spent at Gossard Court.

With much appreciation, Karen Cox

I just had to say, that was the best afternoon I have ever had here, Kathy put so much work into everything, every time you saw her she was hard at work.

That was the 3rd Christmas that I went to and I think this one was the best ever and the chap that played for us and he made everyone so happy. Thanks to Cathy, well done, loved it.

Thank you, Shirley Stemhouse

Dear Jamie,

Thank you so much for your prompt , efficient and sound medical advice last Friday. Mum is no longer in pain and the medication is certainly helping her frustration at her extremely limited movement capabilities. I think her poor little body is slowly heading towards meeting up with Dad. There certainly can not be a better establishment in Melbourne.

Dr Susan Nikakis

Questions we are often asked

Moving into Aged Care can be a challenging time for many people. For an obligation-free discussion with our experienced, client services team, please contact us. In the meantime, here are the answers to the questions we hear the most:

Do I need a referral for an Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS)?

ACAS will accept referrals from any source. So you can refer yourself, be referred through a GP or any other service provider, such as a local government Assessment Officer.

The Aged Care Assessment Service makes assessments in a person’s home to make sure they gain access to the care services appropriate to their needs. They are able to refer to a wide range of service providers, including Commonwealth Aged Care Packages (CACPs), Home and Community Care (HACC) services and residential aged care (nursing home) options.

How do I make contact with the Aged Care Assessment Service?

You can find your local Aged Care Assessment Service on the Department of Health and Ageing website.

Will I have to pay for an Aged Care Assessment Services assessment?

No. Aged Care Assessment Services are free of charge.

How much will I be asked to pay?

For residents who are assessed as eligible for government financial assistance, your accommodation contribution will be determined by the government assessment. All other accommodation prices are published on our website for each of our sites, and are regulated by the government. Regardless of your financial situation, you will always get the care you need.

What are my payment options?

Accommodation charges can either be a lump sum payment (Refundable Accommodation Deposit – RAD) or a regular daily payment (Daily Accommodation Payment – DAP), or a combination of both.

What happens if I leave residential Care?

If the accommodation charge is paid as a lump sum (RAD) it is refundable, unless you choose to pay other charges from this. When you leave, your Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) will be refunded back to you, minus any payments which you have chosen to have deducted from the RAD. The timeframes under which the RAD will be refunded are legislated by the government, and are influenced by your particular circumstances.

Will my basic daily fee increase?

Yes. Your basic daily fee will be indexed on 20 March and 20 September each year in line with increases to the Age Pension. The Department of Human Services will let you know when the increases occur.

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