Preparing the way for you or a loved one to enter residential Aged Care can be a difficult and stressful time. Dealing with complex financial issues at a time when your main concern is the health and welfare of loved ones can be challenging, not to mention time consuming and very confusing.
Making the decision regarding the right care and then completing the necessary meetings, paperwork and requirements whilst dealing with the emotional commotion of changing your loved ones existing lifestyle can take its toll on the entire family…but you don’t have to face it alone.
Financials can get complicated when a move into care impacts Centrelink pension payments (this assumes the person entering care is receiving Centrelink benefits). You may have to consider other issues such as how to pay for any accommodation payment and whether to sell the family home or rent it out. All this is at a time when your main concern is finding a suitable place for your loved one to receive the care they need.
Australia has one of the leading Aged Care systems in the world. Everyone receives equal, high quality care – in our homes and/or in aged care homes (nursing homes).
But with the ageing population the cost is ballooning. This means we have to start paying for Aged Care.
There are 3 primary options to choose from when considering Aged Care living in Australia.
When unravelling the costs, the first thing to understand is that there are four categories of fees, and each pays for a different component of living expenses. This is not dissimilar to the costs you incur while living in the community.
Accommodation payment Or Refundable Accommodation Payment (RAD)
Pays for a right to occupy a room and use the amenities. The aged care home can charge a fee for the accommodation they provide. This can be paid via a RAD or a Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP) or a combination between the two.
Basic daily fee
The basic daily fee covers day to day living costs such as meals, laundry, cleaning and utilities like power and basic telecommunications. The basic daily fee is set by the Department of Human Services at 85% of the single Age Pension.
Means-tested care fee
You might need to pay extra towards your day to day personal care and nursing costs, but this only applies to people who can afford it – and the amount varies according to an assessment of your income and assets. If you chose not to have an assessment you won’t receive any government subsidy towards the costs of your Aged Care and you will be asked to pay the full amount yourself.
Additional services fee
Pays for additional services that add to quality of lifestyle such as newspapers, Netflix or Foxtel and other added conveniences or higher quality of lifestyle. The price is set by the provider.
Getting advice from an Accredited Aged Care Professional can allow you to smoothly navigate this process, receiving the professional support you need to create effective financial solutions that provide peace-of-mind and a favourable lifestyle for you and your family.Myself and the Navigate team will work with you, your family, solicitors, accountants, and Aged Care Providers to achieve the following outcomes for you:
Equip you with the appropriate information to help you negotiate with Aged Care facilities, in order to secure a desired placement and acceptable fee structure.
Dennis Spiroski is an Accredited Aged Care Professional and enthusiastic and caring Financial Planner passionate about providing superior customer service to his clients.
Disclaimer: This article contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information.