Four things to do now to help your aged care search
Helping a relative or close friend move into aged care is usually an unplanned event. A slowly deteriorating condition suddenly worsens, or an accident such as fall can result in a loved one no longer being able to live at home.
Embarking on the process to find a placement in an aged care facility can be a lengthy one, which adds to the pressure of having to find one quickly. Add the finance side of things to that and all of a sudden you are required to make important decisions in a very short period of time.
Here are four things that you can do now to be better prepared when the need for aged care arises in your family:
- Prepare a Power of Attorney document
This is a legal document where one person gives another person the right to make decisions for them. These can be prepared at any time and at any age. There are two types of power of attorneys you should organise:
- Enduring power of attorney authorises you to make personal and financial decisions for your relative or friend
- Medical enduring power of attorney authorises you to make medical decisions when your relative or friend loses capacity.
- Have an initial assessment by the Aged Care Assessment Services Team
If your relative or friend is already having some difficulties at home or experiencing the early onset of certain conditions such as dementia, it can be worth speaking to their doctor and requesting that they put you in touch with the Aged Care Assessment Services Team in Victoria.
The role of the Aged Care Assessment Services Team is to assess a person to determine if they require assistance at home, have a need for an aged care facility or are eligible to receive government-subsidised aged care services.
- Become familiar with aged care facilities around the area
It can be a worthwhile exercise making yourself familiar with facilities in and around your loved one‚Äôs area.
Visit facilities and ask if they have a waiting list or if they offer respite care in the event that you require a place quickly without having decided on your preferred final option.
Accommodation charges differ between different facilities so it is important to ask for prices and do a comparison.
- Talk about the wishes of your loved one and their estate planning
Respecting wishes of your loved one are paramount in any aged care situation. ¬†If the aged care placement is unplanned and hurried, the need to quickly decide on matters can compromise their wishes.
Complex questions require quick responses from aged care services and can lead to stress and family quarrels if they haven‚Äôt been thought out.
Some early questions that can be raised and discussed with your loved one and family members include:
- What to do with the home upon entering an aged care facility
- What to do with the remaining assets
- If there is a will
- If there are any financial wishes, such as providing for the grandchildren‚Äôs education.
Most residents enjoy their new friends and support once they have settled into an aged care home. But being even a little prepared in that initial stage of entering the home helps speed up the settling in process and supports everyone emotionally.
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