The Aged Care Conversation
The signs of ageing in a loved one can be distressing, but ignoring the fact that our loved ones might need extra help can result in more problems down the track.
By starting the aged care conversation before a crisis occurs, an effective plan can be developed to ensure timely support, and allow the individual to maintain independence for as long as possible.
A family meeting is a great first step, as it allows everyone to get on the ‘same page’ and discuss what ongoing needs are required. Whether this is the entire family or just the closest members, it is an opportunity for everyone, particularly parents to voice their needs and wishes.
Even if parents or loved ones don’t need support right now, being organised, having a plan ready, and understanding their wishes will be beneficial.
Although this can be an uncomfortable conversation, being proactive prevents a crisis from occurring, especially if you don't have a clear understanding of parents' or loved ones’ preferences. Both planning and seeking professional advice are the keys to quality care and effective decision-making - especially considering strategies to ensure the home environment and care supports are appropriate and how to fund quality levels of care.
The value of a family meeting
Emotional conflicts between family members can make the transition to care more distressing for an older parent or loved one and potentially cause unnecessary friction between family members. As previously discussed a family meeting is an essential step in planning for aged care, to minimise conflicts.
A well-run family meeting can allow parents, children and other family members to discuss issues and preferences, express concerns and make decisions that work for your family as a whole.
You may consider having an independent third party to help facilitate the meeting. Including someone who is objective but understands the age care system and can assist with arranging and running a family meeting to help your family see the options more clearly.
When to start the aged care conversation?
The earlier you take this step, the better. With a well-organised plan in place, your family can respond more quickly and effectively if an event requiring a move to aged care occurs. Understanding the steps to get that extra support can assist you to maintain your family member's independence for longer.
As a Carer of a loved one who needs additional help, seeing if you are eligible for support with tasks, even as simple as cleaning, can significantly lift the emotional and physical load. Remember that there are resources available, and it is ok to seek help when you need it.
By allowing your parents to think about what is important to them and give you some instructions, you have something to guide you if you need to make choices for them in the future.
How to find some help
Seeking objective advice will help with navigating the aged care system, and identifying the information that is meaningful and relevant to your situation.
Aged care financial advice is a specialist area, and the rules constantly change, as do the available strategies. Reach out to our friendly team today to ensure you get the most appropriate advice for your circumstances.
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 March 2023.
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.