Extra Services Does Not Mean Better Care

When we assist families to source residential aged care, we are often asked about “extra service” fees.

Let me be very clear, extra service fees does not mean better quality care.

The quality of care should not depend on the amount of money or fees paid.

Extra service fees apply to residents in an extra service facility. Some facilities may have all extra service places, some may have a wing or rooms that have extra service places. The extra service fee is intended to cover a higher standard of accommodation or services. For example the room may be bigger, the outlook may be better, the standard of furniture may be higher. Some service examples can be an extra meal choice, glass of wine, daily newspaper, hairdresser. Aged care homes extra service fees should be published on the governments My Aged Care website. In our experience fees can range from $10 per day to over $100 per day. The facility should be able to describe what the extra services are covered in that fee. I have to say I am not a fan of extra services, most of the services offered could be paid on a needs basis and as time goes on these services may become irrelevant for the older person, but you will still be paying the extra service fee. Some people are happy to pay the fee to access their aged care facility of choice.

From my memory extra service facilities were established in the mid 2000’s. At the time facilities were unable to charge a bond for high care residents. The introduction of extra service places meant in addition to the daily extra service fee, a bond could also be charged.

The landscape has changed significantly since then in that everyone now entering residential aged care pays a RAD (refundable accommodation deposit), if they can afford it.

You may find that is some of the more affluent areas that a lot of facilities will be extra services and a greater number of for profit providers will be extra service facilities.

I have also heard of facilities charging a daily premium care fee, again this does not mean better care and ask the question – what is this for?

Some facilities may negotiate the daily extra service fee, you can only ask the question.

Like most things, the more knowledge the better and ask the question of the provider – what am I receiving for this daily payment. Remember, it does not mean better care.