elderly person and a middle aged person talking on a park bench

8 Tips to Transition a Loved One Into Aged Care

Moving your loved one into an aged care facility in Melbourne is never easy. No matter how much you’d like to shoulder the responsibility of taking care of them, more often than not, it simply isn’t feasible. In most cases, an aged care facility is recommended by the GP to give your loved one the care they need and deserve. Doing so may be better for you, and more often than not, better for them as well. Transitioning your loved one into aged care can be unsettling for all the family involved, can involve feelings of guilt, worry and helplessness.

If you are transitioning a loved one into aged care, here are some tips that we at Aged Care Specialists Victoria can give you.

  1. Talk to a professional about income assessment.

    Before you decide on a facility, you have to consider whether your income can afford it or not. Aged care requires careful financial planning and the first step is to file for an income and assets assessment. In Australia, this is usually handled by the Department of Human Services (DHS) or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA). The sooner you start, the better as this arrangement usually takes a while to process.

    Depending on the results of your income assessment, you might be required to pay for income-tested fee which will be charged by your aged care provider. This process might sound complicated, so it is best to talk about your financial action plans with aged care consultants in Melbourne. We can help you with the required paperwork and give you a solid understanding of your options.

  2. Know that there are alternatives when your income can’t support it.

    You might be at a stage in your life where the income available cannot support the cost of aged care. There are available alternatives if this is the case. The Australian Government has provisions in place to make sure that those whose incomes can’t cover the costs of aged care in Melbourne will still be able to be placed in an appropriate aged care facility

    Better yet, take advantage of aged care financial advice from care consultant agencies like Aged Care Specialists Victoria to maximise the benefits of these alternative options. Remember that just because you don’t have the funds, doesn’t mean you can’t have access to aged care.

  3. Check the facilities and staff personally.

    The facility that you select will be your loved ones’ next home, so make sure to choose it carefully. Go and visit as many facilities as you can to get a feel for the staff and the atmosphere- look at the current residents and ask yourself if your loved one would be happy there. The best way to know whether this new home will be suitable for them or not is to go there yourself. Make a checklist of all the amenities that they have—do they have a recreation center? Do they have a clean kitchen and pantry? Do they maintain a clean environment? Decide what is important to you and your loved one and make your decision based on that.

    As for the staff, you need to be able to communicate with them as well. Talk to them about your loved one and ask any questions you may have. Never be afraid to ask the staff about your loved ones’ needs and special requirements. They are there to assist your loved ones when you cannot, so make sure they can make their lives as comfortable as possible.

  4. Keep a positive mindset.

    After your finances are set in place and everything else, the actual move may feel daunting. Transitioning a loved one to aged care can be hardest on the first day of moving. Quality homes will have a transition plan in place, and it is common for residents to take some time to settle in. Dementia patients will often pack up their rooms daily in preparation to go back ‘home’, however this will all settle down so let the staff guide you using their experience- such as recommendations on visits and phone calls during the initial transition.

  5. Help your loved ones decorate their new home.

    Moving from a place that you used to be so familiar with can be emotionally exhausting. Make sure that your loved one gets the same kind of familiarity by helping them decorate the place. This way, they will be reminded of home and eventually even think of their new dwelling as their own home.

    Some facilities will even allow you to bring in large items like their entire collection of mugs or their beloved figurines. Whatever makes your loved ones feel at home, make sure to incorporate those items in their new place.

  6. Make your visits regular and often.

    The elderly can feel abandoned, especially during the first few months of settling into an in-home care facility. Being away from the family is easier when you are young and busy pursuing your dreams. But for the elderly, this can lead to sorrow and longing. Don’t wait until they feel this.

    It is therefore extremely important that you make your visits regular and often. Visit as many times as your schedule allows. Even better, set time aside that is specially dedicated to visitation. This way, visiting them will become your priority instead of just something you do when you have free time on your hands.

  7. Take them out.

    Your loved one might be well enough to go out on walks or trips. If they are, then take the opportunity to let them have a good time outside of their care facilities. Going outside and being exposed to new things may even improve their overall health. Do talk to their caretakers first before doing so.

  8. Consult with aged care consultants in Melbourne.

    If you are feeling unsure about navigating the aged care system by yourself or need a few more tips from experts, then take the time to consult with aged care consultants in Melbourne. These consultants will not only help you through scouting for the right placement and guiding you through all the paperwork, but they are also there to keep your finances in check.

Make the most out of your loved ones’ transition and talk to one of Aged Care Specialists Victoria’s expert consultants today.

Call 1300 001 225 

Be smart about your choices, especially when it comes to moving your loved ones into aged care in Melbourne.

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