Aged care Melbourne

Personal stories and experiences from our Brunswick residents

In this article, four Hope Aged Care residents share their stories and experiences of life at our largest aged care home in Melbourne.

Aged care Melbourne

Bridging the gap: Getting used to life in aged care

Moving into an aged care home is a big deal and can stir up a lot of strong feelings. Many people worry about not being as independent or miss the comfort of their own home. It can feel like a big life change, which might be scary and very personal. 

“By clearly explaining all our services and what we expect, we want to build a clear and trusting relationship from the start.”
Bashar Bitar
Bashar Bitar
Operations Manager at Hope Aged Care
Getting used to a new daily routine and living space, plus the idea of sharing your life closely with others, can be tough. By understanding and sharing these worries, the move to aged care can be a bit easier and more supportive for everyone.

The good news is that many people get through this and end up feeling happy in their new home.” 

Bashar Bitar
Bashar Bitar
Operations Manager at Hope Aged Care

In this article, we’ll hear from four residents of our Brunswick aged care home. They’ll share their own stories about moving in, dealing with these tough feelings, and how they now feel at home. Their experiences show that, even though it might be hard at the start, there’s a friendly and supportive community waiting for you. 

Aged care Melbourne - Brunswick

Emotional transition in Melbourne's aged care

From transition to transformation: Bev's story

When Bev Willan and her husband Jim moved into Hope Aged Care in 2021, it was a significant turning point. Jim needed dedicated care for his Parkinson’s and dementia, and Bev wanted to be by his side. The transition was hard, filled with emotional struggles as Bev faced leaving their lifelong home and adapting to a new environment. 

“It was really hard to make that decision. But seeing how well the staff looked after Jim and getting their support made me realise it was the right move for both of us.” 

Bev Willian
resident at Hope Aged Care Brunswick

After Jim’s passing, Bev embarked on an unexpected journey of self-discovery and renewal within the aged care community. At 81, she found a sense of purpose and joy she hadn’t anticipated, describing this period as the happiest time of her life. 

“Engaging in various activities, contributing to the community here, and building new friendships turned this chapter into the most rewarding one yet. I discovered a new sense of self and a vibrant life here, even at my age.”
Bev Willian
resident at Hope Aged Care Brunswick

At Hope Aged Care, Bev didn’t just join in; she also helped run activities for people with different health problems. This gave her a valuable role in the community and helped her make strong friendships. 

Now, she has a group of friends who are like family. Bev’s experience shows how getting involved and connecting with others in a care home can create a real sense of family and belonging.

Care and community at Melbourne's aged care homes

Sue's insights on genuine care and community

Sue Bebarfald’s arrival at Hope Aged Care was unexpected, a transition directly from hospital to nursing care on her children’s advice. Initially intended as temporary respite, it soon became evident that this was the right place for Sue. Leaving her life in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne for a new chapter in the north was a significant change, but her granddaughter played a crucial role in making this transition smooth and reassuring. 

“I never imagined I’d need nursing care so suddenly, but my granddaughter was a godsend. She found Hope for me, sorted out all the details, and even picked out a lovely, bright room she knew I’d love.” 

Sue Bebarfald
resident at Hope Aged Care Brunswick

Sue had seen many friends in various nursing homes and knew the pitfalls of places that prioritised style over substance. Her experience taught her to value genuine comfort and care, qualities she found at Hope. She shares insights from a lifelong friend involved in aged care advocacy, highlighting the importance of staff quality and training – some of the key values at Hope Aged Care. 

“The care here is different; it’s clear that our comfort and needs are the priority. The staff listen and respond, and that makes all the difference.” 

Sue Bebarfald
resident at Hope Aged Care Brunswick

Hope Aged Care has struck a balance that Sue appreciates: large enough to offer a range of services yet intimate enough for personalised attention. She values the flexibility and understanding she receives, from storing her scooter to choosing how and where she wants to dine or participate in activities. 

Aged care Melbourne - Brunswick

Building connections in Melbourne's aged care facilities

Finding family and independence: Raymond's story

Raymond McMillan’s choice to move to Hope Aged Care in 2018 was significant, especially as he had lost touch with his family. Despite this, he found a new sense of belonging and support at Hope that he hadn’t experienced before. The team at Hope was really helpful in getting Raymond back in touch with his family. Thanks to their support, he’s now built a strong relationship with his nephew, who comes to see him often. 

At Hope, Raymond gets the right balance of help and freedom to do things his way, which suits his health and what he likes. This has helped him make new friends and enjoy new things, making his life better.

“The sense of community here is strong. I’ve made great friends among residents and staff, and even visitors from the Community Visitors Scheme. It’s more than a care home; it’s a place where you’re part of a family.” 

Raymond McMillan
resident at Hope Aged Care Brunswick

Raymond thinks so highly of Hope that he suggests others consider it too. His experience shows that Hope is a place where you can rebuild old relationships and create new ones. 

Shared joy at Hope Aged Care Melbourne

Together at Hope: Antonio and June's new chapter

June and Antonio Di Santo chose Hope Aged Care back in 2018 because it felt friendly and welcoming from the moment they arrived. The staff were really nice, saying hello and smiling, which made them feel at home. 

Antonio likes to visit cafes and shops, and since Hope Aged Care Brunswick is near Sydney Rd, they can still go out together.

Even though Antonio has cognitive and speech difficulties, the staff at Hope carefully assessed his needs. They made sure he got a good room in another part of the care home where he gets the right kind of help.

“The staff’s kindness and respect mean so much to us. And the owner’s hands-on approach and commitment to having a registered nurse available at all times give us peace of mind.” 

June Di Santo
resident at Hope Aged Care Brunswick

Antonio and June join in lots of activities at Hope, which keeps Antonio busy and happy, even when June isn’t around. They really appreciate how everyone is treated equally and kindly, no matter where they come from or what difficulties they face. They’ve made some great friends, which has made their stay much nicer and helped Antonio get the care he needs. 

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Entry into Hope Aged Care Homes

There are two types of fees payable in the aged care

1: Daily Care Fee
2: Accommodation Payment

1: Daily Care fee: The daily fee consists of:

  • Basic Daily Care Fee: Every person in residential aged care is required to pay a Basic Daily Fee, which covers all levels of care and assistance. The basic daily fee is approximately 85% of the single person rate of the basic age pension. The government sets the price on 20 March and 20 September each year, changing in line with increases to the aged pension.

    Prices are published on the Department of Health website.


  • Means Tested Care Fee: The government requires those who can afford to contribute more towards their care to do so. As such, the Department of Human Services will determine if a resident is required to pay a Means Tested Care Fee in addition to Basic Daily Fee. This amount is based on an assessment of the new resident’s income and assets. Potential residents will be notified if a Means Tested Care Fee is payable when they receive their Centrelink Assessment letter. There are yearly and lifetime Maximum Means Tested Care Fees. The Maximum Means Tested Care Fee you can be asked to pay is $31,706.83 each year or $76,096.50 in your lifetime. These caps are indexed and change each time there is an increase in the aged pension. We recommend you seek independent financial advice.

2: Accommodation Payment:

The total Accommodation Payment amount will vary depending on the accommodation type chosen by the resident. The payment method is also determined by the resident, who can choose between paying a RAD (Refundable Accommodation Deposit), a DAP (Daily Accommodation Payment) or a combination of both.

  • Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD): A Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) is a one-off lump sum payment made to the aged care provider. It varies according to the room chosen by the resident. The RAD is fully refundable on departure. Upon payment of the RAD the resident must be left a minimum of $57,000 in cash / assets. If the RAD is paid in full within 7 days of admission no interest will be charged. The deposit is fully refunded when you leave the aged care residence, less any amounts you have agreed to have deducted. Those residents transferring to another aged care residence or returning home will have their RAD refunded within 14 days from discharge. In the case of a deceased resident, the RAD will be refunded within 14 days of receipt of a certified copy of the Grant of Probate.

  • Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP) A Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP) is a rental-type payment. Instead of paying for your accommodation in full (as a RAD) an ongoing daily payment can be selected. The DAP is calculated by multiplying the agreed RAD amount by the government legislated interest rate (currently 7.9% per annum)

  • COMBINATION PAYMENT (RAD + DAP) You can opt to pay part of the accommodation payment as a lump sum RAD and then the balance via DAP payments. DAP payments will be calculated based on the outstanding RAD amount. If you choose a combination of RAD and DAP and you elect to have the DAP taken from the RAD, your DAP payment will increase over time as the RAD amount is reduced.

There are more payment options like RAC and DAC for partially supported residents.

Please reach out to one of our financial department staff for more clarification on [email protected]