Extra services are not included in your aged care costs, they are additional luxury services
Only certain aged care homes are approved to provide extra services
You can not be charged for extra services that you are unable to use
These extra services are considered 'hotel-type services', which provide a higher standard of accommodation, food and entertainment. Extra services do not include any health care or health-related services that are required to be provided by aged care facilities.
Depending on the facility and what 'extras' are being offered, extra service fees can cost anywhere between $10 to $100 a day on top of your normal aged care fees.
Only some aged care providers receive extra service status from the Australian Government, which allows them to offer additional "hotel-like" services to their residents. The extra service status of providers is updated on an annual basis.
What can I get?
Usually, an aged care home will either provide extra services as an option to the whole facility or it will only provide extra services in a specific wing, unit or building at an aged care home.
Extra services could include:
A larger ensuite with superior furnishings and decor
Television with an extra television provider for more channels
More menu options or meal variety
A wine, beer and spirits selection
Phone or internet
Daily newspaper delivery
Weekly hairdressing services
Leisure and entertainment facilities
Sometimes your room could come with a bar fridge full of nibbles and wine for any visiting family or friends.
Just because you receive extra services does not mean your standards of care will be higher than the rest of the residents in the facility. Aged care facilities are required by the Federal Government to provide high levels of care to all residents, so your care and support will be no different.
Extra services are only providing additional luxury comforts to make your stay in a facility more enjoyable and homely.
You will need to put in place an Extra Services Agreement with your provider before you move into a facility. This agreement is separate from your Resident Agreement with the facility.
Before signing, you should be aware of how much the extra services will cost you on top of your aged care costs and what services they will actually be providing you, whether that be better accommodation, nicer meals, or other luxury services.
While an extra service agreement doesn't need to be in writing or signed, it can be a good idea to have one put together for the reference of your provider and for you.
Depending on the facility, they may have non-optional extra service packages. So to agree to the room in a facility, you have to also agree to the extra services provided.
However, providers are not able to charge you for extra services you would not be able to reasonably use.
For example, if you had macular degeneration in both eyes, getting a newspaper to read or watching television with extended networks would not be possible. So you cannot be charged for these services you cannot use.
Additionally, a facility can not make you pay for extra services that would be considered a part of everyday residential care operations or normal aged care. For example, a bed, food, care equipment or clinical or health services are all part of the standard required care and can not be considered 'extra services'.
What extra services would you like to receive in your aged care facility? Tell us in the comments below.