Preparing for Aged Care; Helping You Cope with Financial, Legal and Social Security Issues

Article excerpt

MOVING into an aged-care home can be a complicated and emotional process. There are many issues to consider and good financial advice can make the transition easier and minimise costs.

The ageing population

Australia's ageing population is steadily increasing, with many of the baby boomer generation born between 1946 to 1966 entering the aged-care bracket between 2011 and 2031. At present, 13.5% of the population (about three million people) is aged 65 years or over and this is expected to increase to 22.7% over the next 40 years.

For some of these baby boomers, it may mean looking into alternative accommodation such as aged care homes and other care arrangements.

Jenny Christie of Priority One Financial Group said the decision as to which type of accommodation or care arrangements people require may be based on lifestyle choice or a need for assistance with daily living activities if it becomes harder to manage on your own.

If you require assistance with daily living activities, one of the hardest decisions you may have to make is whether to remain in your home or move to a hostel or nursing home. If you remain in your home, there are various community programs available which can help you. On the other hand, if you require accommodation in an aged-care facility, you will need to take into account a variety of financial, legal and social security issues.

Aged care in Australia

aLooking into the different types of aged care accommodation available and the associated costs can be quite complex and requires careful consideration. This is where financial planning can help to alleviate these concerns and help potential residents achieve the kind of retirement lifestyle they desire,a Ms Christie said.

aSome important aspects you need to consider include payment of accommodation bonds, fees and charges, arranging aged care assessments, tax implications and estate planning.a

Hostel and nursing home care

Aged-care facilities are commonly referred to as hostels and nursing homes. The main difference between the two lies in the level of care provided.

aPeople who require some help with daily living activities may require low level care such as hostel accommodation. On the other hand, people who require 24-hour nursing care may be more suited to high level care such as nursing home accommodation provides,a Ms Christie said.

To enter a hostel or a nursing home, you need to be assessed based by an Aged-Care Assessment Team (ACAT). …