Whether you or a loved one is moving to aged care, it can be an emotional and stressful time with a lot of important decisions to be made in a short amount of time.
Early aged care preparation may alleviate a great deal of stress and confusion when deciding whether to receive aged care at home or live in a residential care facility.
These conversations could potentially involve determining your healthcare strategy and what kind of lifestyle you would like to enjoy
It is beneficial for you and those around you to discuss and write down your desires for future care. This can ensure the nominated person you’ve chosen to make decisions on your behalf, feels comfortable with making those choices.
While you may have informally been planning ahead for aged care, it’s crucial to formalise your plans through a legally enforceable advance care directive, the legal designation of a medical treatment decision-maker, or a combination of these measures.
Here are four suggestions on how you can optimally plan ahead for your future:
1. Consider Your Options:
Aged Care Facility:
Commonly, when people think about the term ‘elderly care’ the first thing that comes to mind is a residential aged care facility. These institutions provide a variety of options for accommodation and care based on your specific needs.
Personal care, such as assistance with bathing and dressing, and occasional nursing care, may be a suitable option for some. There is also an option for continuous nursing care for those with a higher level of dependency.
Aged care facilities can be very costly. It may be worth talking to a specialist aged care financial planner to determine how you will pay for the fees as well as how you can structure your assets for maximum financial benefits.
2. Home care:
While an aged care facility can be an excellent option for some, there are just as many who don’t find it an appealing way to spend the latter part of retirement.
If you are one of them, consider alternatives such as home health care or personal assistance, which can offer access to services that may assist you in remaining in your home for as long as possible. Cleaning, food preparation, and transportation to and from appointments and shopping are all examples of support services.
It’s important to note, if this is an option you are considering in your aged care planning, that you take into consideration the potential waiting period.
As home care is increasing in popularity (largely due to changes in the industry and the uncertainty and health concerns relating to COVID-19), it has also resulted in generating long waiting lists (usually over 6 month waiting period for some). It’s crucial to consider booking an aged care assessment as soon as you start to consider home care as an option and go on the waiting list.
Home care is consumer directed so you are able to determine how you’d like to use it. This option is also income tested rather than asset tested. However, seeking advice from a financial planner can provide you with clarification on whether any income tested fee would apply to you.
3. Consider Visiting Nearby Facilities
Whether you are presently in need of residential aged care or not, you may want to consider making a plan to visit a variety of facilities in your selected region.
If feasible, you should do this alongside family members to ensure comfort with the process. Understanding the alternatives may help you and your family have more meaningful discussions about your choices and make more educated lifestyle and financial decisions.
A specialist aged care adviser in your local area will also help you determine which facilities may be right for you. At EJM, we have aged care advice Specialists in Melbourne who can support you in your decisions.
4. Examine the Affordability of Your Options
When obtaining care services, there can be a variety of costs required.
The accommodation cost is one of the most obvious fees that you may want to take into account when looking at entering residential care. This payment is subject to several restrictions. Many payment options are available, including a lump sum amount, regular payments, or a mix of both.
The accommodation cost can differ between residential aged care homes depending on a number of considerations, such as location and facilities.
By planning ahead, you can consider what residential aged care facility appeals to you and apply that cost in your financial plan. This way, you have more potential in securing a place in your preferred facility when the time comes. Plus, you can be confident that you will be able to afford the ongoing costs.
Aged Care Financial Planning in Melbourne
Numerous people are faced with life-altering choices in their later years.
However, taking the time to consider your options and plan ahead for your future can make the aged care transition smooth for you and your loved ones. Having a plan in place sooner rather than later can help you retain the lifestyle you want as you approach your later years.
EJM Financial Services can help you put together the right aged care solutions and the best retirement plans in Melbourne. We aim to create happiness for all of our customers and to assist them in achieving their ideal retirement.
General Advice Warning: This article contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information.