The Christmas season is here already! With families gathering to celebrate, some for the first time in a long time, often the dinner table discussions turn to aged care. We have put together a few tips to help guide the conversation to make it a positive one.
Be open with your conversations
Engaging in conversations about care can be challenging, but maintaining open communication with a supportive attitude can help the process. Early planning and expressing clear preferences provide a much wider range of choices.
Consider undergoing an assessment (if it seems extra help may soon be required
To access HomeCare Packages, respite services, or explore the possibility of moving to an aged care facility, initiate an assessment by the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAR in VIC). While the testing process is straightforward, be wary of potential waiting times, especially during busy periods.
Look at home care alternatives
Explore a variety of services to facilitate staying at home, including the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, Home Care Packages, DVA services and private care services. Plan ahead, considering waiting times, and explore the full range of offerings, from equipment and aids to home modifications, respite services and social activities.
Talk about respite
A respite stay in an aged care facility provides caregivers a necessary break and individuals a chance to try out a facility. The affordability of respite stays, with no accommodation payments or means-tested fees, makes it an worthwhile option to explore.
Consider the appeal of retirement villages, offering low-maintenance accommodation with the freedom to manage daily tasks, along with support if and when needed.
Go on tours
Whatever stage you or your loved one is at, try to go and physically look at places- whether it is aged care or a village. Ask questions and go to as many as you can. Understanding the pension
For pension recipients, understanding how any move may impact pensions and other entitlements, such as rent assistance and concession cards, is crucial and could make a difference to the decisions you make – this is where expert financial advice comes in very useful.
Appoint a trusted legal professional
Ensure there is a Enduring Power of Attorney, allowing a trusted individual to make decisions on your behalf if/when necessary. Ensure wills are up to date and contain all wishes.
The next step could be engaging a professional to help you navigate all the finances… When receiving aged care financial advice, we lay out all your options and outcomes so you can get a clear picture of all the options available to your family. If you need help or know of anyone starting to look into aged care options, I would be happy to have a chat. You can contact us here.