If your parents are getting older, they may be relying on you to help them make key financial decisions – including knowing what to do about their aged care. Learning as much as you can about their options will help.
Home care packages are the government’s way of helping Australians to stay in their homes for as long as possible before entering residential care. They offer a range of support services, including personal and nursing care, transport, food services, domestic help and medical assistance.
Depending on the level of care your parents need, the program features a range of packages with different subsidies. You can find out more about the home care packages on the government’s My Aged Care website (www.myagedcare.gov.au).
The amount your parents pay for home care is determined according to their income.
If they need to move into an aged care facility, the costs will be determined by a means test on their personal income and assets. Their family home will be exempt from the aged care assets test if it’s occupied by a protected person, such as a partner or a dependent child.
They’ll usually need to pay an accommodation payment. This can be paid either as a lump sum or a periodic payment, or a combination of both when they move into an aged care facility. In addition to an accommodation payment, they also may have to pay a basic daily care fee and may have to pay an additional means tested fee.
If your parents want to sell the family home to cover the costs of residential care, it’s important to know any remaining money from the sale will be subject to means testing. This could impact their aged care costs and how much Age Pension they receive.
In many cases, aged care can be just as much a financial decision as it is a medical one. That’s why it’s a good idea to talk to an ICG Financial Planner.
A planner can help you and your parents decide which options are right for them. After all, everyone’s situation is different, from the assets they have to the residential facility they choose. A financial planner could help you and your parents: