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Where to get started with aged care?

With an informed and sensitive approach to aged care, you can help family members make the right choices for their future security and comfort.

As we grow older our loved ones do too. A time may come when your parents or a family member need support to keep them comfortable and healthy as they age. Aged care arrangements are complex and it can be hard to make the right choice if you’re under pressure and unprepared. Exploring the different options now can help you plan ahead and make a positive decision, together.

What is aged care?

There are two types of aged care - home and residential care - and there are government subsidies and payments available for both. You may already have a fairly clear idea of whether your parent or family member is ready for assisted living or residential aged care. For access to either option, a person will have an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) review their needs. It’s wise to start looking at a range of residential homes before the assessment outcome so you can get to know what different places offer in terms of service, convenience and activities.

Although cost is a factor, it’s important to make a choice based on what will work best for your loved one. Bear in mind how the location, security and privacy and level of care available will affect their quality of life after they move. Aim to choose a new home that feels right for your family member.

So how much can you expect to pay for a residential care arrangement?

There is an initial cost known as a Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD). The amount you will pay will depend on the facility you choose. You can opt for an upfront lump sum to cover this cost or pay based on a Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP).

“Coming up with a strategy for meeting aged care costs depends on individual circumstances.”

Then there are fees for care services and living expenses. The government will contribute the same amount to day to day living costs for every resident and every resident will pay a Basic Daily Care fee. Then there may be costs for ongoing care. Eligibility for government contributions towards these ongoing care costs is means tested and there are likely to be costs it doesn’t cover. There may also be additional fees you can pay for extras and upgrades that may be offered by each facility.

Making an informed decision

To simplify the path towards making a decision, it’s worth considering these key issues:

  • Family needs and estate planning
  • Cash flow available
  • Which facility is affordable
  • Current value and expected capital growth for home
  • Costs involved in preparing and maintaining home for rental

Even with careful thought and research, aged care decisions can be overwhelming. Getting expert help from a financial planner with experience in aged care transition and estate planning can relieve the stress involved with making plans and give you confidence in making the right choice for the well being of your loved one.

Need help managing your money?

Getting expert advice can make a big difference to how prepared you are for retirement - both emotionally and financially. By discussing your lifestyle goals with a StatePlus financial planner you’ll have a much better understanding of the super and income you’ll need to make retirement a positive change in your life.

For more tips and tools, download our free Retirement guide or call us on 1800 620 305.

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Aware Super Pty Ltd ABN 11 118 202 672, AFSL 293340, the trustee of Aware Super ABN 53 226 460 365. Financial planning services are provided by our wholly owned financial planning business Aware Financial Services Australia Limited, ABN 86 003 742 756, AFSL No. 238430.

This information is of a general nature only and is not specific to your personal objectives, personal situation or needs. Before making any decisions based on this information you should consider its appropriateness to you. Every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate. We strongly recommend that you consult a financial planner before taking action and review the relevant Product Disclosure Statement.

Past performance is not an indicator of future performance and future performance is not guaranteed.

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