The Vital Role of Aged Care Financial Advice

By Pride Advice

Growing old is a journey facing most of us and aged care is likely to be something that will have to be navigated as a family. As Renay Richardson explains, a specialist aged care financial adviser can shine a light on the unknowns, untangle the complexity, and help with potentially difficult conversations.

Of all the services we provide, there’s none more vital than aged care financial advice, for several reasons. Firstly, aged care is something most of us will experience and have to participate in at some point. Secondly, aged care is complex in Australia; it comes in several forms and there are many ways to finance it. Lastly, it can lead to difficult conversations between parents and children, often leaving them tangled in a confusing web of emotions.

The great thing about aged care in Australia, however, is that there is, in all likelihood, a version which suits you or your parents to a T. With the right guidance, we can help you find that version and bring you surety, peace of mind and hope.

What does aged care look like in Australia?

Broadly speaking, aged care can be broken down into three categories, each of which come with their own financial considerations:

  • In home care:

Many of us prefer independent living at home, supported by family assistance. The Australian Government offers aid to those 65 and older through the “Commonwealth Home Support Program,” providing various levels of assistance post-assessment. Seniors may require home modifications, but full funding is unavailable, requiring contributions based on income and assets for access to support, including home-care packages and private care.

  • Short term respite care:

Respite care provides caregivers a temporary break while ensuring care recipients receive support, ranging from a few hours to several weeks. Types include in-home assistance, day programs, transitional care post-hospital stays, and short residential stays, with costs varying by type.

  • Residential aged care:

Aged care homes cater to older individuals unable to reside at home, offering assistance for safety, health, and comfort. Residents purchase a room and pay ongoing fees, including a refundable accommodation deposit (RAD) for those ineligible for government aid, varying by location, demand, and care type.

Start with an Aged Care Assessment

In Australia, some aged care services can be government subsidised. To find out what level of care is appropriate for you, and what government subsidies you can access, you need to complete an Australian Government Aged Care Assessment through My Aged Care. This will give you options moving forward which you can discuss with your family and financial adviser.

My Aged Care Assessment Services

How can a specialist aged care financial adviser help?

Remove the complexity, find a path forward

As you can see, there’s no one way to do aged care in Australia. Not only are there the three broad categories we looked at above, but within those categories are many permutations. Finding out which is best for you and how to finance it can be very complex.

A financial adviser who specialises in the area can provide vital guidance and advice. Not only can we talk about investment strategies and retirement planning, but we can also discuss the best ways in which to navigate the myriad costs involved, be they accommodation payments, daily fees, fitting out your own home with mobility accessories, and so on.

The prospect of aged care can feel daunting at first glance, but with the right planning in place, you can look forward to a future designed by you, for you.

Navigate difficult conversations

With aged care comes potentially awkward discussions within the family. It has the potential to flip traditional dynamics on their head, where children are now suddenly talking about the best way to care for parents. These can be hard conversations to start, and often leads to procrastination. Unfortunately, it’s usually when decisions have to be made in a hurry that these discussions can really fall apart.

This is all totally understandable. Aged care affects the person who is receiving it as well as their children, with financial implications for all involved. We all want the best for each other, but we might have different ideas on what that looks like.

Financial advisers can be that objective, knowledgeable guide that makes these conversations a lot easier. We can look at all the possibilities and calmly outline the pros and cons and map a path moving forward. In many cases, having somebody who isn’t emotionally involved but brings the expertise is exactly what these moments need.

Don’t leave aged care planning too late, but even if you have…

Like all things financial, aged care is best done with planning. Get everything in place ahead of time so you know what you’re going to do when the time comes. However, life is full of curveballs, and sometimes this just isn’t possible.

If aged care is something you or a loved one needs assistance with now, and you haven’t established any plans, don’t hesitate to get in touch. These are the times when you can most do with expert guidance. We’ll help with government assessments, Centrelink communication, planning and, of course, financial considerations. You’ll be grateful to have a specialist in your corner.

Even if you or your parent still has time before aged care becomes a reality, get in touch anyway. Learn about the possibilities open to you, and decide now on the best way to finance them. This is all about securing your future and your way of life.