Sydney Aged Care Guide: 6 Essential Nursing Home Tips for Families
Ok, you’ve officially begun the aged care journey….. Maybe you have a parent or much loved family member whose health is quickly deteriorating; or they’ve just had an ACAT assessment ?
Your head is probably spinning with questions. Where to from here? What’s next? Have I missed anything?
Aged Care Guide: 6 Essential Nursing Home Tips for Family is designed to map out the key aged care steps you will need for the weeks and months ahead. It also includes useful resources and links for you (or the family member who will be managing the admission process into residential aged care).
1. Search online for nursing home accommodation
Gone are the days where you had to spend hours and hours on the phone in a fruitless search for aged care accommodation. These days there are several great websites that allow you to instantly search for nursing home bed availability. Try anyone of these sites:
www.MyAgedCare.gov.au – this is the government portal
www.AgedCareGuide.com.au – a good private aged care search engine
www.AgedCareOnline.com.au – another good private aged care search portal
All include a profile & photos of each residential aged care facility.
2. Make a shortlist
Once you have made a start on searching we recommend you make a shortlist of the most suitable nursing homes for your loved one. At this stage you should commence calling each facility to properly ascertain bed availability, as sometimes vacancy information is not up to date online.
3. Meet the aged care facility staff
Whilst online portals and websites are a great tool for searching suitable residential aged care facilities in your area, nothing beats a physical inspection. Once you have made a final shortlist and then narrowed it down to 2 or 3 possible nursing homes you should then make a visit and do an inspection of of the site. Meet the staff and maybe even chat to other residents or family to get a ‘feel’ for how the place is run.
4. Gather financial information & documentation
Now that you have settled on the likely choice of aged care facility you should gather all of the relevant documentation relating to your family member. This would include detailed information on their assets and income, ACAT assessment and Centrelink financial assessment if they are receiving aged pension.
5. Check contracts & legals
If you are signing a contract for the provision of aged care services or accommodation it’s a good idea to get this checked by a solicitor or legal adviser, unless perhaps if your family member has very simple affairs or few assets.
In addition, if you don’t already have power of attorney (POA) in place now may be a very good opportunity to do so.
6. Financial planning advice for aged care
Before signing the final agreement for aged care accommodation you should consult with a financial planner who specialises in aged care. This will help you maximise pension entitlements, possibly reduce aged care fees and charges and better manage cash flow.
Hopefully “Sydney Aged Care Guide: 6 Essential Nursing Home Tips for Family” gives you some useful information to get you started on the aged care journey. You can find further details on the admission process HERE and some common mistakes to avoid HERE.
Of course as always, please call our office on 1300 659 677 for assistance.