4 Tips for Choosing a Residential Aged Care Service
When it comes time to move into residential care, choosing the right service can be a challenging but important decision. While choosing carefully is the key to a good experience, many people struggle to know where to start.
Moving into residential care is a move to a new home. Even though this is not a home you are buying, if you think about it in terms of a property transaction, it might help you to build a checklist to make the right choice.
When you last bought (or rented) a home, you probably did not start your research by looking for the cheapest option; instead, start thinking about where you wanted to live and what sort of lifestyle you wanted. This is also an excellent place to start when choosing residential aged care.
Your decision will include many factors but start by making the same sort of decisions that you would for any property decision. This includes:
What feels like home and what sort of amenities you want access to
The price is affordable
Advice on how to structure finances to maximise your options
Choose the location
Location is always the first decision. This might be based on easy access to services or who you want to be close to. For example, do you want to stay in the same area so you can continue with the same doctor, hairdresser, church group and friends? Or would you prefer to move closer to family so they can visit more often?
The government’s MyAgedCare website (myagedcare.gov.au) also has a search function to start you off finding services available in a particular location.
What feels like home
Some services are newer; some are older. The style of building and available services can also vary. Think about what makes you comfortable.
A wish list of essential things about where you live and how you live, including accommodation style, amenities, and social activities, can help you narrow down your options. Remember, this will be your new home.
When you take a tour, ask about additional lifestyle services and choices you might have about things like entertainment programs and meals.
Room prices can range up to $2 million. You will need to make a choice that fits your price range – and this might mean compromises.
If the price looks high, you might choose to pay a daily fee to “rent” the room instead. As you don’t have to hand over a large lump sum, this might make good financial sense for you.
Get financial advice
Financial advice from an Accredited Aged Care Professional can help you decide what you can afford and help you with strategies to make the most of your assets. Sometimes the right approach can make a big difference in affordability.
Finally, ask lots of questions. When taking a tour of potential services, ask lots of questions about staff ratios and roles. Look for signs that indicate the staff aim to make it feel like home (such as personal items on display) and how staff interact with residents. You can even ask to look at the activity schedule.
We can help you understand the fees and financial complexities of Residential Aged Care and help you put in place strategies for yourself or your loved one to maximise their assets and available funding.
Contact us today and book a chat with Bill to see how we can help.
Disclaimer: Prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in this article, Olive Grove Financial Advice recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Information in this article was correct and current as of 23 May 2022.
Olive Grove Financial Advice is operated by Bill Savellis through The Financial Advisor (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 72 619 546 431, who is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 1278394) of Havana Financial Services Pty Ltd.