Are your elderly parents needing help with their living arrangements?

elderly parents needing help with their living arrangements

If your elderly parents are getting to an age where they will require some support, what are three things you should consider?   

Three things to consider:   

  1. Do you have the time?   
  2. Do your elderly parents want to stay at home?   
  3. Do you want your elderly parent’s assets to be protected?   

The improvement of health services has contributed to the steady increase in the average life expectancy since 1995. Today, if an Australian is 50, there is an increase in life expectancy, with females’ life expectancy at 86.6 years and males at 83.2 years.

How does this affect your elderly parents’ lifestyle when nearing the average life expectancy?

Members would still live in their homes, rent, or live with families. Those who need assistance with daily living activities, such as cleaning, shopping, and cooking, may consider available options to suit a comfortable lifestyle for their needs. One option is the services of Aged Care. But how would you determine what is best for your elderly parents and what type of living arrangement and care is needed?

What living arrangements are available? 

The aged care system aims to make it easier for older people, their families and carers to understand the options for ageing and aged care, assess their needs, and be supported to find access to services. These services include the alternative forms of accommodation available:

  • Residential accommodation – is available to people with physical, medical or social care needs that cannot be met in the community. These services are provided in residential aged care services, such as:  
    • Retirement Villages – available to people over 55 who can live independently or reasonably independently. This is a lifestyle decision based on no longer wanting to maintain a house.  
    • Supported Residential Services– providing a community setting to support senior Australians who need assistance with daily activities. No Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessment is required for entry.  
    • Independent Living Units– like a bedsit or self-contained unit with a kitchen and bathroom and suited for residents who can live reasonably independently with or without a disability.  
    • Permanent Aged Care Facilities– a residential aged care facility that provides aged care services and has the appropriate staff, including nurses on call 24 hours a day. However, this does limit your visitation with your elderly parents.  
  • Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)– Home care can be utilised in the person’s residence. It focuses on senior Australians remaining in their homes where possible. Government funding has increased to meet this goal. CHSP is a program designed to keep the person living in their home and community environment. It mostly delivers services such as domestic assistance, meals delivered to the home or provided at a community centre and transport.  
  • Home Care Package (HCP)– to receive a home care package, your elderly parents must be assessed by ACAT, which includes doctors, nurses, social workers, and therapists. A care manager will design the HCP to meet the person’s needs, including help with daily activities. The care recipient controls an amount of funds and allocates them across the range of care and service providers available within their package.   
  • Granny Flats – are usually considered a separated or semi-detached self-contained dwelling on the same property as your or another family member’s home.   

What is the government trying to move towards for aged care services?  

As a result of the Aged Care Royal Commission in March 2021 (Aged Care Reform), several significant findings and recommendations were made. These were proposed changes to aged care fees and resident contributions. The key topics of interest relating to aged care were:  

  • Fees  
  • Ensuring the health, safety and well-being of care receivers, and   
  • Providing access to information and support is prioritised.  

There were additional topics as a result of this commission. Still, the key aim is to increase the level of service, information and support for all aged care recipients in a sustainable living arrangement. 

How is Aged Care funded?

The first thing that generally comes to mind is providing the best care possible to our loved ones entering respite. Quite often, a resident’s next thought is whether this accommodation is affordable and how this will affect the family’s wealth.

The first step is to discover the payment methods available to commence the living accommodation arrangements that suit your family’s circumstances. Its payment can be made via a few different methods: a daily payment or a deposit. Vision can assist with explaining the different ways that this can be funded.  

Some of the accommodation payments may also affect your aged pension and aged care fees, mainly if a surviving partner is still living in the principal home or is also in respite accommodation. In addition, the resident’s current position may also affect their payments from Centrelink, which should be investigated by conducting an income or assets test. 

Talk to Vision 

Are you concerned with a loved one and want to see what options are available to increase their standard of living? Hamish Ferguson specialises in Aged Care advice, understands the difficulties this circumstance brings, and can assist with educating the options available to you. Vision can help guide you and your elderly parents through their aged care journey. For more information, please enquire about an initial consultation about your goals.