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Preparing for Aged Care Living

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Most people don’t consider an aged care facility until you find yourself in urgent need of assistance with daily living.

Choosing to move into an aged care facility is an incredibly difficult decision. Most people don’t consider an aged care facility until a crisis occurs — such as a fall or needing respite after hospital — and you find yourself urgently needing assistance with your day-to-day living.

Many of us do not consider making plans to move into aged care and, for many older people, the need for residential care only becomes a priority following a crisis, such as a fall or decline in health requiring hospitalisation. The need for assistance with day-to-day living tasks often sneaks up on us as we age and it can be very surprising to find you need help with even the most simple of tasks.

Downsizing into an aged care lifestyle option is never an easy decision. However, by arming yourself with plenty of information about what is available and what choices are on offer, you can make your choices less terrifying and more terrific!

Many people choose an aged care facility based on location, the quality of the accommodation, the quality of the nursing care provided, or based on a recommendation from their GP, family or friends.

There is no right time to start considering aged care facilities; however it is best to start considering the possibility of moving into an aged care facility while you still have a choice. Otherwise, if a crisis hits, you may find yourself being allocated to an aged care facility with available beds and not one you would have chosen.

There are some factors to consider when you choose an aged care facility:

“What care do you need right now?”

There are now many options for aged care living such as:

  • Assisted Living (Home Care) to assist you to remain at home
  • Retirement Village and Independent Living
  • Low-level residential care when you just need some help
  • Higher-level residential care for those needing more assistance

“What if my care needs change?”

Regardless of which aged care service you start with your needs are likely to change, especially as you get older. It’s always best to find an aged care facility that can provide flexible care options to help you manage any change, as well as providing you with good options for maintaining quality in your life.

Choose a facility that helps you live your life the way you always have — in control.

“What about my family and friends?”

Your new aged care lifestyle needs to be a place you can call home — a place where you can entertain your family and friends; a place where you can share meals and memories as well as create a new chapter in the story that is your life — regardless of your condition.

Many new friendships are made with others at aged care facilities who share your interests and hobbies, as well as providing many options for maintaining your connection with community, church or social groups.

When choosing your aged care facility, make sure to ask about their leisure and activity options. There is no reason why you still can’t enjoy your passion, or even take up a new hobby.

“Life only ends when you stop living.” Needing care is not the end of your story — simply the chapter that your aged care facility can help you write.

“How much will it cost?”

It is difficult to determine the cost of aged care accommodation as it very much depends on the individual applicant’s income and assets. Regardless of which aged care facility you choose, all will charge a Basic Daily Care Fee, a Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) and a Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP).

These fees are calculated per individual by their chosen aged care facility, with RAD and DAP depending on your assets in excess of a legislative amount.

Similar to buying a house, it is always best to conduct research on a range of aged care facilities to determine what best suits your budget, as well as your care needs and lifestyle options.

“Who should I talk to about choosing the right aged care facility?”

To help you get started on choosing the right aged care facility, visit My Aged Care at www.myagedcare.gov.au or phone 1800 200 422. They will provide you with plenty of resources to help make your choice of moving into an aged care facility easier.

Alternatively, please contact your local aged care facility HarbisonCare on 02 4868 6200 for an obligation-free discussion.

Article provided by Harbison Care. Visit their website at http://www.harbisoncare.org.au/

This is general information only and should not be relied upon as financial product advice. You should seek independent advice before taking any product or service.

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