NAVIGATING AGED CARE
We all want to be young for as long as possible, enjoying the best life has to offer, but inevitably, we all get older and our needs and level of care change as we enter different phases of our life. Managing these changes can be stressful and emotional as we want to make good decisions for ourselves and those we care about.
If you or a loved one has reached the stage where some form of aged care is required, there are many things to consider.
As a professional financial adviser specialising in aged care, we can help you understand where to start. We can explain the types of care available, the costs, whether you need to consider selling the family home and how the age pension comes in to play.
Aged care can be complex and the rules and legislation are constantly evolving, but you don’t need to be overwhelmed. Some sound advice can help you understand your options and make a decision that is right for you and your loved ones.
Louise is an only child and a mother. She is the primary carer for her parents whose health was declining. Louise visited them a couple of times a week, and had organised additional home care services to support her parents, however, with their declining health, her own family and a career, she was finding it increasingly difficult to provide the care they were needing. It was becoming apparent that it would not be long before they would require more care than she could provide.
Louise needed to make some decisions about their ongoing care, which she found overwhelming. She needed some advice so she could identify the key issues and gain some clarity about their options and all the costs involved.
The first issue Louise wanted clarification on was accommodation options. What were they, how could they afford them and what impact did that have their current assets? She made an appointment with a financial adviser who broke it down in to one simple objective – to achieve the best care for her parents without spending more money than necessary.
The financial adviser explained that the issues around assets, income, pension entitlements and the type of care wanted or needed are all interrelated and complex. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.
Upon the recommendation from her adviser, Louise spoke to the family doctor, the Aged Care Assessment Team, her parents’ solicitor and Centrelink to understand their entire situation. She was overwhelmed with information but her financial adviser was able to help her sort through the complexities.
Together, they developed an aged care plan that enabled her to find suitable accommodation for her parents based on the level of care they needed and budget. He helped her structure her parents’ assets including the family home and investments to benefit from available Centrelink entitlements and create an ongoing income solution.
Louise knew she could not have done this on her own and is in regular contact with her financial adviser who continues to help her monitor her parents’ finances and living arrangements. Louise is confident that should the time come when her parents need a higher level of care, her financial adviser can assist her to make the right decisions.
You may need to seek advice for someone you care about. If you need to make decisions around aged care but are unsure where to start, it may start with a simple conversation with one of our aged care specialists.