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Aged care is an important issue for Australians, as the desire to grow old while remaining at home is becoming the preference for many. This has led to increased provisions to aged care services not only as separate facilities, but also as a community-focused effort.

Care for the Elderly

With the general trend towards people living longer compared to previous generations, aged care has become significant in most societies. In Australia, the main emphasis of aged care is towards those over 75 to 80 years old. After all, the greatest need for support is usually in the last two years of a person’s life.

Recently, the government has been driving towards ‘ageing in place’ – that is, keeping older people out of facilities as much as possible. Not only is this a more cost-effective approach for health care, it’s also consistent to what majority of aged people wish for themselves. In fact, about half (47%) of the elderly in permanent residential aged care are suffering from depression, the most commonly diagnosed mental health condition in these facilities.

Aged Care Costs

There are various costs involved in aged care. For those who need residential services, there is, of course, the accommodation costs. Some people have it paid in full, while some are subsidised by the government.

There is also the basic daily fee, which covers your everyday living costs. Extra charges are incurred depending on additional services and upgraded accommodation.

With these expenses in mind, it’s best to find out early on if you are eligible for government assistance. The Department of Human Services (DHS) conducts a formal assessment that determines how the payments and subsidies are to be arranged.

Aged Care Finance

There are organizations that facilitate preparation for ageing family members. The IF Group is one financial services firm that provides such services.

Deborah Rognlien, CEO of The IF Group, recently discussed her firm’s experiences with aged care finance planning. Regarding aged care, “The process is quite stressful…It’s a sign that things are changing and things are not flowing necessarily as smoothly as can be expected in the home,” she explains.

Indeed, aged care is not only an emotionally-centred issue, but also a financial one.

What happens if aged care becomes a contentious issue for family members?

Rognlien made it clear that it all depends on whether the elderly has signatory powers, meaning if the people themselves understand what they might be signing. Signatory powers is different from Power of Attorney, and if the latter has never been put in place, family members should find other avenues to arrive at an agreement.

The IF Group offer legal advice for families to navigate these situations. Finding the best services for each client is also their task. “We put together a package that helps family members to source and look at various facilities and shortlist them based on the criteria – price, location, type of services that might be available”, explains Rognlien.

Need Help With Financial Planning? Talk to Us

Financial management is complex in itself, and for families preparing for aged care, it can certainly be more overwhelming. Hence, gaining professional support and fostering a united concern for the elderly is important to make it an easier decision for everyone involved. Dollars With Sense is a panel member formed by experiences and knowledgeable financial experts. If you are seeking for advice on age care financial planning, put down your details here and we will arrange a free consultation with one of our qualified panel members.