top of page
  • Writer's pictureBill Savellis

The Cost of Unpaid Care

Elderly couple watching TV

Carers are integral to Australia’s health, mental health, aged care, disability support and social services systems. With more of us now part of the ‘sandwich generation’ who are simultaneously raising children and supporting their aging parents, it’s no wonder this juggle can be exhausting, expensive and emotional. It was reported in 2020, that the estimated annual replacement value of all unpaid care in Australia had risen to $77.9 billion, which was an increase of 29% from similar research conducted in 2015.

It is estimated that 2.65 million Australians provide care and support to a family member or friend.

Why is it so important to acknowledge unpaid care?

Unpaid carers play a crucial role in providing support to individuals dealing with disability, chronic illness, mental health issues, and of course, age-related frailty. They can be any family member or friend who assist with daily tasks like dressing, bathing, scheduling medical appointments, and ensuring proper medication management.

Unpaid carers are vital pillars of Australia's healthcare system, forming the backbone of our aged care, disability support, palliative care, and community services. We don’t often ask, what is the cost of unpaid care?

The cost of unpaid care is threefold: How much the government saves, the financial cost to carers and the mental and emotional cost. The cost to carers can be financial, such as dropping hours from your job in order to be able to take on caretaking responsibilities. But there is also an emotional and mental toll to supporting a loved one as their health deteriorates.

If you are a carer, there are some programs available to support you or your loved one such as:

The Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)

The CHSP is an entry-level home support program designed to support older people in maintaining their independence within their own homes and communities. It offers a range of services, including respite care for caregivers.

The main aims of the program are focused on collaborating with individuals rather than doing things for them, ensuring that they can live as independently as possible. With a focus on providing a small amount of assistance to a large number of people, services are tailored to meet individual needs.

It's important to note that the majority of participants in the CHSP only require 1 or 2 services to help them maintain their independence.

Home Care Packages

Home Care Packages offer comprehensive support for individuals with high care needs or those requiring assistance in coordinating multiple support services. These packages consist of four different levels, each corresponding to a specific funding amount. Whether it's a one-time service or regular support, Home Care Packages encompass a range of services including household tasks assistance, provision of equipment, minor home modifications, personal care, respite care, and even clinical care services like nursing, allied health, and physiotherapy.

Each individual's circumstances are unique, and assuming the role of a carer entails a substantial commitment for all concerned parties. At Olive Grove Financial Advice, we collaborate closely with carers and those they care for to understand their financial options. We can support you in understanding the pension implications of your aged care decisions, and navigate through the financial intricacies of the Aged Care system to make informed decisions. Book in a chat to find out how we can help.

Headshot of Bill Savellis

Bill Savellis

Senior Financial Adviser

Having navigated the Aged Care landscape for both of his parents, Bill understands how challenging it can be to make the right decisions for your future care needs. That's why he believes that everyone should have access to financial advice during this time. Bill has been a Financial Adviser for over 22 years, and is passionate about helping others access the financial advice they need. Drawing from his own experience in the financial sector, Bill develops strategic, personalised plans to support transitions to Aged Care or Home Care.


Disclaimer: Prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in this article, Olive Grove Financial Advice recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Information in this article was correct and current as of 13 March 2024. Olive Grove Financial Advice is operated by Bill Savellis through The Financial Advisor (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 72 619 546 431, who is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 1278394) of Havana Financial Services Pty Ltd.


bottom of page