Aged care services – your questions answered

WITH constant improvements in life expectancy and more individuals reaching the age of 85-years and beyond, the likelihood of having to deal with residential aged-care access and costs is increasing.

According to The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), the probability that a person aged 65-years-old would enter permanent residential aged care in their lifetime was 54 per cent for females and 37 per cent for males.

If you or someone you care about is at this stage in life, navigating your way through all the information can be difficult, but help is available.

Options for aged care

Some of the different types of aged care options available are:

Help in the home such as domestic help, meals or nursing care.

After-hospital (transition) care.

Respite care, which assists the primary carer.

Residential aged care (full service residences where ongoing care and support is provided).

For more information on each of these options, you can visit the My Aged Care website at www.myagedcare.gov.au.

How much will it cost?

The Australian Government contributes to the cost of a range of aged care services in Australia, but there will be additional costs that you need to cover.

The cost for after-hospital care or respite care will depend on the duration and level of care needed.

The fees for residential aged care or an at-home care package can vary, as they are dependent on your income and assets as assessed by the Department of Human Services (Centrelink) or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

With a residential aged care place, there may be one-off payments (or deposits), as well as ongoing fees for care, accommodation and daily living expenses.

For self-funded retirees, it’s a good idea to seek an income assessment shortly before commencing an at-home care package or entering residential aged care. If the assessment isn’t completed, maximum fees and charges may be applied.

For more detailed information and advice on residential aged care, please contact David Donato at Strategic Financial Planning on 6220 8330 or visit www.strategicfp.com.au.

This article contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information.