It’s not easy making the decision to place a loved one into care. Once you’ve made the call, it can be confusing to understand how it all works. It can also be quite a challenging and confronting issue, both emotionally and financially, especially when the decisions you make can affect your financial position and how long the money will last.
Let’s start by looking at the options available.
Staying at home (community care)
If your parents only need minimal care, they may prefer to stay in their own home and get support when they need it.
Support available can be:
- domestic help: housework, preparing meals and shopping
- personal care: bathing and dressing
- help with exercising and staying physically active
- transport to take them to and from appointments or social activities
- equipment to help them get around, such as a walking frame
- nursing care: changing wound dressings and taking their blood pressure
- general home maintenance and modifications to their home to help them stay at home longer.
Visit the Department of Social Services website to find out more.
These are designed as an alternative housing option for people over 55. They generally suit people who want to maintain a level of independence and enjoy the company of others in a community setting, but may prefer a level of security and support. Retirement villages are generally privately owned (they do not receive government funding) and often includes facilities such as:
- onsite management
- communal dining facilities
- organised social activities
- gyms, swimming pools and bowling greens.
Some villages have aged care facilities within the complex, which are regulated by government rules, and may be an easier transition when they need more help.
Aged care homes (residential care)
These homes may be suitable for people who are no longer able to live independently. Aged care homes provide help with day-to-day activities and health care. They can also provide a welcome source of company for some people.
But your parents don’t have to live in an aged care home permanently — there is always the option for shorter stays. For example, an aged care home may be suitable for someone recovering from an illness, who can return home once they have recovered. Aged care homes are different to retirement villages that are independent private facilities typically without aged care support services. Aged care homes are owned by people who have been approved by the government to provide aged care.
Anyone who would like to live in a residential aged care home will have to meet with a member of an Aged Care Assessment Team, who will help them work out the types of care and services they need. Your parents can have this assessment done in their own home if they wish.
If you would like to discuss more about Aged Care please contact us or call on 03 9770 6499.