Thinking about aged care, let alone being prepared for such an event can be a daunting task. This article will run you through the need-to-knows, so that when the time comes, you can make informed decisions about yourself or your loved ones.

Aged care isn’t something people think about often until the very last minute and is usually triggered by a fall or sudden illness. Unfortunately, due to the cumbersome nature of the industry, things don’t always move as quickly as people would like. Being prepared and knowing what your options are can put you ahead of the curve and ensure that you or your loved one get the support you need in a timely and efficient manner.

Types of care before entering aged care facility:

When talking aged care, many people instantly think “nursing homes”. There are a few options available before moving permanently into an aged care facility. The first of those options is getting help at home. This allows you to continue living at home but getting a helping hand while still allowing independence and living in the comfort of your own home.

Getting help at home looks different for different people. It may mean getting help with shopping and cooking. Or it could be receiving personal care to bath, dress, and get in and out of bed. It may even mean getting modifications to improve your safety and movement around the house.

The government usually subsidises the cost of receiving care at home. Out-of-pocket expenses depend on the services you require and, in some cases, your financial situation. You need to meet certain requirements to be eligible – the government offer an eligibility checker tool on the My Aged Care website

Your second option is short term care or respite. This option is broken down into three sub options, with the first being short-term restorative care. This option is designed to help those who may have slowed down physically or mentally and just require a bit of extra help to get them to their earlier levels of independence.

The second option in the category is called transition care. This option is designed to help you recover after a hospital stay where short-term specialized care is provided to help you during recovery to ensure that confidence and independence is regained as soon as possible. Where this care takes place is tailored to you specific needs and circumstances and can take place at in an aged care home, at your home or other facilities depending on the rehabilitation and care required through recovery.

Your third option in this category is respite care. This option is designed to support you and your carer by giving you a break for a short period of time. Respite care can be accessed for a few hours, days or even longer if required and can be planned in advance if your carer has an appointment or holidays planned.

Assuming you qualify for any of the above, the cost of these options will vary depending on where you receive care and what type of care is required but the most you will be required pay is:

  • $12.53 per day, if you receive care while living at home (17.5% of the single aged pension).
  • $60.86 per day, if you receive care while living in a residential setting (85% of the single aged pension).

Entering an aged care facility:

This option is designed for people who can no longer live at home and need ongoing support with everyday tasks or health care. Entering an aged care facility is a big decision and needs to be considered carefully.

The first step is finding an aged care facility that has availability, you are happy with and is going to meet your needs. During this process it is also important to factor in the cost of care. The cost can vary significantly from facility to facility and will also depend on your financial situation. The cost of care is essentially broken down into three types:

  • Basic daily fee: An amount that everyone pays for the day-to-day services they receive at the aged care home.
  • Means tested care fee: A contribution that some people pay toward the cost of their care, determined by a means assessment.
  • Accommodation costs: An amount that some people pay to contribute towards or cover the full costs of their room, depending on their means assessment.

Entering and aged care facility requires planning and thought. As you can appreciate, the options above provide flexibility but also complexity. Here at Catapult Wealth, we can guide you through the options but more importantly tailor recommendations to your needs. Knowing the ins and outs of aged care and how to structure your finances in preparation for the above can mean the difference between thousands of dollars in additional fees per year.

We specialise in aged care and ease the burden for our clients to ensure they understand their options and make informed decisions that are going to provide the best outcomes for them and their family. Reach out to one of our advisers to discuss your options today!