Moving a loved one to an aged care facility can be a difficult decision for families. Whether it’s due to health reasons or the need for specialised care, the decision to move a loved one to aged care is never easy. However, with the right planning and preparation, families can make the process smoother and less stressful for everyone involved.
The following includes some key steps to consider when looking at moving a loved one to aged care in Australia.
Step 1: Determine Your Loved One’s Care Needs
The first step in the process is to determine your loved one’s care needs. This includes their physical, emotional, and medical needs. You may want to consider getting a professional assessment from a healthcare provider to determine the level of care required. This will help you determine the type of facility and services needed.
For Australians, there are two main Aged care assessment programs, the Regional Assessment Services (RAS) and Aged Care Assessment Program (ACAP).
1. RAS: Assessors conduct home support assessments under the RAS program. These assessments are intended for individuals who require basic support to remain at home and are provided through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). Home support assessments are generally conducted in the individual’s home. The Australian Government finances organizations nationwide to provide RAS services.
2. ACAP: Under the ACAP, comprehensive assessments are conducted by Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs), which consist of a group of healthcare professionals including medical practitioners, nurses, and allied health practitioners. These assessments are specifically designed for individuals with complex care needs, such as those who require a higher level of home care or short-term restorative care. ACATs may conduct comprehensive assessments in the older person’s home or in a hospital setting. The ACAP program is funded by the Australian Government and delivered by state and territory governments.
Step 2: Research Aged Care Facilities
The next step is to research aged care facilities in your area. This involves visiting different facilities and speaking with staff members and residents. During the visits, it is important to ask questions regarding the facility’s services, including the types of care provided, the range of activities offered to residents, and the qualifications and experience of the staff members. It is also crucial to understand any fees or costs associated with the care and to discuss the options for payment or financial assistance.
Additionally speaking to and gaining referrals from friends and family could be another great staring point.
Choosing the right aged care facility involves finding one that meets your loved one’s care needs and provides a comfortable and safe environment. By conducting thorough research and asking the right questions, you can make an informed decision and provide your loved one with the best possible care.
Step 3: Consider the Financial Implications
Moving a loved one to aged care can be a significant financial investment, and it’s essential to consider the costs involved to ensure that your loved one’s finances are protected. Understanding the financial implications can help you make informed decisions about the type of care and the facility that best suits your loved one’s needs.
One of the key considerations is the cost of the facility, which can vary depending on the type of care required, the level of support needed, and the location of the facility. In addition to the cost of the facility, it’s also important to consider any government subsidies that may be available, such as the Aged Care Pension or the Home Care Packages program, which can help to offset some of the costs associated with aged care.
Additionally, when considering the costs involved its important to understand the options available to you, including but not limited to:
1. A refundable lump sum – Refundable accommodation deposit (RAD) or a Refundable accommodation contribution (RAC)
2. Daily payments – Daily accommodation payment (DAP) or a Daily accommodation contribution (DAC)
Here at EPG Wealth, we have a team of advisors available to assist with choosing the right option based on your personal financial position.
It’s also important to consider any ongoing costs associated with care, such as medical expenses, medication costs, and additional services or activities provided by the facility.
Speaking with a financial planner or adviser can be helpful in understanding your options and ensuring that your loved one’s finances are protected. They can provide guidance on available government subsidies and help you to develop a financial plan to cover the costs of aged care while also protecting your loved one’s assets.
To speak to a financial advisor to gain greater insight into the financial aspects of moving a loved one to an aged care or if you would like to improve your current investment strategies, click here to organise a complimentary 20-minute phone call with an EPG Wealth adviser.