7. What does Live in Care cost for Elderly Australians?

Live in Care costs $621.43 each 24 hours/day, if we average the $4,350 weekly cost over 7 days, says Daughterly Care, the leading provider of Live in Care in Sydney and New South Wales, Australia. This cost can be reduced by a Government Subsidised Home Care Package and this is explained in detail below on this page.

This page contains the most accurate explanation of Australian Live in Care costs. Let me explain why the cost of Live in Care is often misquoted as being far more expensive than it is.


Why does Sydney’s leading provider of Live in Care cost less than what is often quoted in the media and by alternative suppliers?

This is a Snippet from a Google Search conducted on 23/10/2017 where a newspaper article published in the Sydney Morning Herald in 2015 quotes Live in Care as costing “about $1,000 a day”.  This cost was 100% overstated in 2015, 80% over stated in 2017 and is now 66% overstated in 2018.

google snippet home residential care

Daughterly Care is the best and longest provider of Live in Care in Sydney and NSW, Australia. What makes Daughterly Care the best provider of Live in Care?  Its our vast experience (21 years’ experience case managing 2.8 million hours of High Care to clients with Level 3 or 4 ACAT Assessments, or equivalent high care needs).

I read a website last week that said XYZ specialises in Live in Care, so we rang and asked how many Live in Care clients they have. Not one Live in Care client, not ever, they have just started. I’m sorry, that is not expertise, that is marketing b….t.

Our clients are smart enough to avoid inexperienced Live in Care service providers because most of our clients, 74%, are personally recommended to Daughterly Care by families who have used our services and health professionals who are aware of our exceptional Live in Carers. See the results of our 2017 Client Survey Results where 100% of our clients who completed the anonymous survey said Daughterly Care provides “exceptional care, care that exceeded or met their expectations”.

Let me say it, as it is.

Around the clock care, 24 hour presence care or Live in Care, whatever you like to call it, it is a niche service for the few self-funded Elders who can afford it (or for fortunate Seniors whose adult children either pay for their Live in Care or provide part of the care to reduce the total cost to meet budget).

Given Live in Care is a niche service…

….many in home care Approved Providers state (pretend) on their brochures and websites that they provide Live in Care because they want to ‘look like’ they provide a comprehensive range of services.

But they don’t.

Instead when you ask if they provide Live in Care, they say they do, and then they proceed to quote you the cost of their:

  • 24 hour care with an inactive sleepover at night; or
  • 24 hour care with active care at night.

These options are commonly double the cost of Live in Care. And what they quote falsely in the name of Live in Care means they falsely over-state the true cost of Live in Care.  To get the true cost of Live in Care you need to ask a specialist provider of Live in Care, like Daughterly Care.

What does Live in Care cost?

True Live in Care is charged at a flat-fee for each day (24 hours), so for Daughterly Care the cost per day and week is:

Monday to Friday $603.60 X 5 days = $3,018
Saturday = $624
Sunday = $690
Total for a week (with no Public Holidays)
We can REDUCE this cost by your Government Funded In Home Care Package….we show you the reduction below on this page, so keep reading.
= $4,350


  • 24 hour care with an inactive night care costs $8,361 per week;
  • 24 hour care with active nights costs $11,124 per week; and…
    …both these options require 3 staff per day to operate within the award terms.

Does Live in Care cost more for a couple than a single person?

Not necessarily, it depends on our role and the number of hours of direct care within a 24 hour period needed by our client.

Live in Care provides 8 hours of active direct care within a 24 hour period, spread over the 24 hours, as each client needs assistance.  Each client has different support and care needs, at different times of the day.

An example where there is no additional cost for a couple.

Mrs Smith has a neurological condition and cannot mobilise. She needs to be hoisted for all transfers and spends most of the day in an electric wheelchair which she drives.  Her husband has no chronic illnesses, good mobility and no cognitive deficit. This client pays no additional fee, just our standard Live in Care fee, because we are able to provide assistance for 8 hours within 24 hours.

In the morning our Live in Carer completes the personal care routine (toilet, shower, dress, breakfast, medication, toilet) with Mrs Smith including preparing and serving breakfast for both Mr and Mrs Smith on their verandah over-looking Sydney harbour.

Mr and Mrs Smith go out on their own for a walk and have lunch out by Sydney harbour, often with family joining them. During this time our Live in Carer cleans up after breakfast and has a break.

After lunch our Live in Carer assists the client to the toilet and hoists her into bed for a chat and nap in her husband’s arms and our Live in Carer goes for a walk and then starts preparing dinner and completes some housework.

After dinner our Live in Carer cleans up and leaves Mr and Mrs Smith to watch their favourite TV shows together.  When it is time to go to bed, our Live in Carer assists Mrs Smith to the toilet, to clean her teeth, changes her into her PJs and hoists her into bed.

As you can see our Live in Carer and Mr Smith work together. Private time alone, for Mr and Mrs Smith is a break for our Live in Carer so that she stays within the 8 hour limit.

When the care needs of both spouses requires more than 8 hours of care, we bring in an hourly caregiver to do a couple of hours of care so our Live in Carer stays within the 8 hour limit. This ensures consistency of care and keeps costs to a minimum.  For example one couple who require more than 8 hours of care in a 24 hour period, we bring in a Caregiver who is a Piano Teacher and this provides great enabling support to the client who was a concert pianist and gives our Live in Caregiver a break.

In Home Care… is Health Care for Elders, so the Government Subsidises its cost…

Just as any Australian can walk into the Accident and Emergency Department in any Public Hospital, to receive emergency health care, the 2010 Australian Productivity Commission Review of Australia’s aged care industry recommended that Government Subsidised Home Care Packages should be a universal benefit for all Senior Australians, who have care needs assessed by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT)whereas previously Home Care Packages were just for pensioners.

Why did the Australian Productivity Commission recommend making Home Care Packages a universal benefit for Elderly Australians? Because in home care is health care for elders. International evidence-based research shows that when in home care is done well, like Daughterly Care provides in home care, it prevents hospitalisations and delays placement into a Nursing Home (or Boutique Group Home), both of which cost the Government a lot more money than subsidising in home care. So for less money, the Government can improve the quality of life for Elderly Australians using in-home care whilst saving hospital and nursing home costs.  This is why the Government adopted the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to subsidise in home care for ALL Senior Australians.

exceptional home care nurse equals a improved quality of life

At Daughterly Care we actively assist our Live in Care clients to secure a Home Care Package

As an example, Government Subsidised Level 4 in Home Care Package (with no cognitive supplement for dementia, which is an extra 11.5%pa of funding,) for a self-funded Elder, is a real financial benefit from the Government of $39,393.16 pa per person.

Why is the real or actual financial benefit of the Level 4 Home Care Package less than the $50,286.05 annual Government Funding for a Level 4 Home Care Package?

Simple. Because as a self-funded elder the Government does NOT pay you Government Funding equivalent to the Income Tested Care Fee of $11,012.99, until you have reached your Lifetime Contribution Cap, when you stop paying the Income Tested Fee, until you are under the Lifetime Contribution Cap again i.e. you just pay the amount it increases by inflation each year (a few dollars). Lifetime Contribution Caps and Income Tested Care Fees are explained on this page.

So once your Government Funding is assigned, (not approved), the Government calculates your funding daily and pays Daughterly Care monthly, if you have chosen us as your Approved Provider of Home Care Services.  We use the Government Funding to pay for part of your Live in Care i.e. we deduct the Government Funding we receive (less our Home Care Package Administration Fee) from your private live in care invoice.

Level 4 Home Care Package (with no supplement) Annual
Government subsidy $50,286.05 – $10,892.89 = $39,393.16
Income Tested Care Fee paid by Consumer + $11,012.99
Basic daily fee paid by Consumer $10.54 per day + $3,847.10
Total Home Care Package = $54,253.25
Less Home Care Package Case Management and Administration fee1 20%

If you had 2 self-funded parents, both with Level 4 Home Care Packages, then, double the Government Funding would be paid i.e. $39,393.16 x 2 = $78,786.32 pa would be deducted from your Live in Care fee.

Families can further reduce the cost of Live in Care by all adult children equally sharing the provision of 24 hour care on the weekends. See example on this page.

Currently, October 2018, My Aged Care has advised that it is taking up to 18 months to receive a Level 3 or Level 4 Home Care Package so you need to be able to afford our Live in Care fee without any Government Subsidy discount from day one of using our service.

“I wouldn’t be entitled to a Home Care Package to reduce the cost of my Live in Care, I have too many assets”

Well, actually you are.

The Home Care Package test looks at the total income of a person or couple to determine if you are self-funded. The Government does not look at your assets or the value of your home. So your asset level will not exclude you from receiving a Home Care Package. More about Home Care Package costs.

When it comes to costs, bear in mind…

…that prior to 2018 most of our Live in Care clients’ homes had more than doubled in value, capital gains tax free, over the previous 5 years, way in excess of the cost of their Live in Care. As a result they have enjoyed attentive, person-centred care, delivered by consistent small number of Live in Carers enabling their best quality of life possible, all without impinging on their busy adult children and co-incidentally maximising their children’s inheritance.

That outcome is a win-win-win – very rare indeed.

Asset Rich and Income Poor

Live in Care enables Elders to live their way, in the familiarity of their comfortable, loved home, where they remain the boss, with attentive one-on-one direct care of up to 8 hours per 24 hours. Eight hours of attentive Live in Care compares to just 2.8 hours of direct care, per 24 hours, in an Australian Nursing Home. (Source: Bentley Chartered Accountants Annual Survey of Australian Aged Care Homes 2015.  The Bentley Survey was completed by the Nursing Homes themselves).

If you are asset rich and income poor you could sell down investments or borrow against your home to pay for Live in Care. This is a very good alternative to upending your life and selling your home to pay a Nursing Home Bond, especially when you are so close to the end of your life. Staying at home with one-on-one, attentive, personalised care is far superior to the Nursing Home alternative and far less stressful.

Do you have to apply for a Home Care Package from the Government to use Daughterly Care’s Live in Care service?

No. Our Billionaire and Multi-multi-multi-millionaire clients don’t apply for a Home Care Package because they don’t need the subsidy, they don’t have time for the paperwork and they don’t want an ACAT Assessment on record. There is no requirement for a Home Care Package.

Do you have to have an ACAT Assessment already to use Daughterly Care’s Live in Care service?

No.  You only need an ACAT Assessment if your want to apply for a Home Care Package and we can guide you through that process.

I already have a Home Care Package with another Approved Provider can I use Daughterly Care’s Live in Care service?

Yes. You can exercise your Consumer Directed Care rights to choose the type of care you want and who provides the care.  Just tell your Current Approved Provider that you want to use Daughterly Care’s Live in Care service.  (Check out your 9 Consumer Directed Care rights here). You can keep your Home Care Package with your Current Approved Provider and just use our Live in Care service.

Tip: If you choose to keep your Government Funded Home Care Package with your Current Approved Provider we recommend asking what their “3rd party processing fee” is. Many charge you between 10% to 20%pa of the cost of our Live in Care.  In January 2018 one faith based Approved Provider doubled their 3rd party processing fee to 20%pa. This fee is IN ADDITION to their Administration and Case Management fees which were already double our fee. The adult child then decided to transfer his parent’s Home Care Package to Daughterly Care Community Services as this meant his parent had 20% more Government Funding to pay for his parent’s Live in Care, along with HALF the Administration and Case Management Fees. Informed and educated Consumers receive better value and service.

Another Tip: As the cost of Live in Care is more than your Home Care Package, most Approved Providers will want you to pay for the whole cost through them. This enables them to charge their Home Care Package Management Fee on the balance as well as their 3rd party processing fee. This could see you paying 40% more for our Live in Care. Our clients pay us directly.

24hr 24 hr 24 hour 24 hours live-in live in elder elderly private care privatecare senior geriatric north shore northern beaches


Read on 8. Where is Live in Care available?

Need more information? To know more about us, read why we started Daughterly Care, and take a look at our services. Meet the stars of our business, our in home Caregivers and case managers and operations team.

Read unsolicited feedback from our clients. We’re always thrilled to receive such kind words.

The next step is easy … contact us for a confidential chat about your needs or to organise your, free no obligation consultation email claireg@daughterlycare.com.au or call us on (02) 9970 7333.