With multiple avenues to explore, thinking about aged care earlier rather than later could provide you or your loved one with greater flexibility.
It’s possible that in the future you, or someone close to you, may need some form of care or daily living assistance. With lots of information to sift through and the conversation sometimes a tricky one to approach, we’ve pulled together some information to make navigating aged care an easier process.
The current state of affairs
The Australian government has projected that in 40 years the number of people aged over 100 will be 300 times what it was in the mid-1970’s, with an ageing population shining a light on aged care services.
Meanwhile, industry figures show:
Aged care services available
There are several types of aged care services available. Each has an eligibility criteria and an assessment process which can be organised through the government’s My Aged Care initiative.
The costs for after-hospital, respite and short-term restorative care depend on the level of care and how long it’s required.
The fees for an at-home-care package or residential aged care can also vary and will depend on income and assets, as assessed by the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
With a residential aged care facility there may be one-off payments (or deposits), as well as ongoing fees for care, accommodation and daily living expenses.
If you’re a self-funded retiree, it’s a good idea to seek an income assessment before commencing an at-home-care package or entering residential aged care to avoid paying maximum fees and charges.
Having the discussion
Deciding to have a discussion is the first step. So, if you’re in a situation where you need to approach the topic of aged care, whether it’s for yourself or a loved one, it’s better to do it sooner rather than later.
Remember, it may not be easy and it’s fairly normal for people to resist this type of conversation. For this reason, it’s a good idea to approach the topic as a series of conversations so that you (or your loved one) are in a better position to articulate what you want to happen.
Things worth considering when approaching the topic include:
There are complexities and tax implications to work through when it comes to aged care, including for example whether or not to sell the family home, so it’s a good idea to get professional advice.