Caring for older Australians

Information and resources to help you care for an older Australian.

Caring for the elderly or aged means caring for someone who is either:

  • older than 65
  • older than 50 for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.

It may be your parent, grandparent, extended family member or loved one.

You have access to the same services and payments as other carers. You may need to take time off work for caring responsibilities. You’ll need to make sure you also care for yourself.

When you care for an older Australian

Any help and support you offer, including physical and personal care, and emotional and social support, makes you a carer. The support could be unpaid or paid.

You may be able to get different payments, depending on the level of care you’re giving. These payments include:

  • Carer Payment, an income support payment if you give constant care to someone who has a disability, has a severe medical condition, or is an adult who is frail aged
  • Carer Allowance, a fortnightly supplement if you give additional daily care to someone who has a disability, has a medical condition, or is frail aged
  • Carer Supplement, an annual payment that helps cover costs when caring for someone with a disability or medical condition. You’ll get Carer Supplement if you’re getting Carer Payment or Carer Allowance for a period that includes 1 July.

There are challenges to caring for someone. A key element of caring is good communication between you and the person you’re caring for. This includes having tough conversations with the person you care for about the type and level of care they need.

Levels of care

It’s good to discuss care needs early on. This means you and the person you care for can adjust the support needed over time. There’s help for the person you care for to remain independent and in their own home.

Help in the home

Services you can get can vary depending on need. This may include help with shopping or cooking, or help with accommodation and care services. We can help with some costs if you need help living at home or you’re entering an aged care home. There’s a lot to consider when you think about aged care.

On the My Aged Care website you can:

Our Aged Care Specialist Officers (ACSOs) can provide you with financial information about aged care services. They can also help you understand the services and support available to you. You can book an appointment to meet with an ACSO in person in some of our service centres or using video chat.

Page last updated: 23 November 2023.
QC 60310