It can be tempting to put off thinking about aged care. When you’re busy enjoying life in the present it can be challenging to find the time or desire to think too far ahead. But the key to successful ageing is having a sense of control—and when it comes to control, planning ahead is essential.
When’s the right time to start planning?
Considering your aged care options when you plan for retirement is probably a good idea. It may seem too early to think about a future you can’t imagine, but the reality is, and experience has shown, that it’s probably too late to consider aged care when the need for it has actually arrived.
If you—or your family—need to decide about aged care suddenly the added emotional stress and working a way through the process can make finding an agreeable solution seem impossible.
By thinking ahead early you can consider alternative options, seek appropriate advice and put plans in place – then you can move on to enjoying your retirement.
Can you stay at home for longer?
The ‘Living Longer Living Better’ Federal government reforms encourage older people to stay at home longer, before having to enter residential care, by providing low-cost home care packages.
The services provided include:
- transport for shopping and appointments
- social support
- personal care
- food services
- domestic help with household jobs
- home and garden maintenance
- home modifications
- nursing care
- medical assistance.
If a home care package is something you’re interested in, find out if you’re eligible by reading more at http://www.myagedcare.gov.au/home-care-packages.
Paying for aged care
When the time does come to move into residential aged care the associated costs will be determined by a means test applied to your personal income and assets, including the family home i.
Homeowners with insufficient cash to cover the cost of aged care accommodation are tempted to sell or rent out their propertyii. For example, if they rent out their home, a combination of rental income and part-pension may provide enough money for living costs, while preserving the family nest. Selling up on the other hand, could reduce an individual’s pension entitlement if the value of the home far outstrips the cost of care.
It’s really important to seek financial advice on what the best option is for you so you can make sure you’re living the best life you can, whether it’s in your own home or residential care.