The plan to enter a residential aged care facility can be a stressful time, but early planning and good advice can minimise the stress for you and your family. You will be faced with many personal and financial decisions.
Start with a family meeting to make shared decisions. Use this meeting to:
Discuss options and preferences and explore each person’s concerns
Decide who needs to be involved in any planning
Aged care help can be accessed in your home or in a residential service. To help you decide which option is best, arrange a free assessment by an Aged Care Assessment Team/Service (ACAT/ ACAS).
You will need to have ACAT/ACAS approval before you can access government subsidised services.
Searching for Services
If residential aged care is required think about what criteria is important in deciding where to live. This should include location, amenities and your health care needs.
What you will pay for residential care is divided into contributions towards accommodation, care and additional services.
How much you will have to pay will depend on:
The service you choose
Your assessable assets
Your assessable income
You will also need to pay for your accommodation. You can choose to pay a lump sum (Refundable Accommodation Deposit “RAD”), a daily payment (Daily Accommodation Payments “DAPS”) or a combination of both. Each option will have a different effect on cashflow and Centrelink payments (if relevant).
Covering the costs
Before making the move, a complete review of your financial situation is ideal to ensure you can create sufficient cashflow and maximise your estate. Many decisions need to be made including:
Should the family home be kept, sold or rented?
Is it best to pay a RAD or DAP for accommodation?
How is your Centrelink/Veteran’s Affairs pension affected and can this be improved?
What are the best investment options for any surplus money?
How to manage any taxation implications?
What are the implications for your estate?
Anytime your circumstances change it is important to consider the impact this has on your estate plans. This includes when you move into aged care.
Review your will and death benefit nominations
Review enduring powers of attorney and enduring guardianships
When you accept a place in an aged care service you will be asked to sign a resident agreement. This will detail the services provided and fees payable.
It will also outline your rights and obligations. You will also need to consider the rearrangement of assets to pay the accommodation payments as well as advising Centrelink of the changes.
There will also be other practical matters such as informing your doctor, bank, Medicare, electoral roll and other relevant organisations of the new address details.
If you have any aged care planning queries please contact the our team.