Whether considering options for yourself or deciding how best to help someone close to you, aged care is a complex area and requires careful thought. The uncertainty surrounding where to move, how much it will cost and where the money will come from can be overwhelming and stressful. We recommend speaking to a financial adviser as they can provide advice to help you make informed decisions.
By guest author: Challenger
This page provides basic information on the steps you need to take, where to find answers and how your financial adviser can help you make an informed decision.
There are typically three steps you need to take before moving in to an aged care facility.
Step 1: Approval
Before entering an aged care facility, your health must be assessed to determine your eligibility for care. The assessment can be performed by any doctor, nurse or social worker who is a member of an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).
Step 2: Find a home
To make sure you find a home that you are comfortable in and that will suit your needs, you may like to visit a few different places. You can apply to as many homes as you like.
The accommodation costs for all aged care facilities are published on the Government’s aged care website. This website also provides descriptions of the rooms and services available at the facility.
Step 3: Organise your finances
On entry to a facility, you will be required to pay an accommodation contribution or accommodation payment.
Some people will have their accommodation costs met in full or part by the Australian Government, while others will need to pay the accommodation price agreed with the aged care home.
The Department of Human Services (Centrelink) will advise which applies to you based on an assessment of your assets and income.
There will also be a basic daily fee to pay and there may be a means-tested care fee which is determined by your level of income and assets. Some facilities offer you a higher level of service or a higher standard of accommodation or food for an additional daily fee called an extra service fee.
Your financial adviser can help with the decisions you need to make and which strategies are best suited to your circumstances. They can also help you keep your plans on track with an annual review, in case your circumstances, or external factors such as legislation, change.
Please view our Aged Care FAQs here for more information. Questions include:
“How much will I have to pay for aged care?”
“How can I afford ongoing aged care?”
“Can I keep my home or will I have to sell it?”
“Will I have something to leave my family?”