When it comes times to move an elderly parent into a care facility, a lifetime of memories will be packed into boxes and the family home is often sold. Underneath the important decisions as to which facility your elderly parent will move into and the costs involved, can be fear, disharmony and worry within any family.

It can often be a traumatic and disruptive period in an elderly person’s life. Their children (or carers) are usually searching for a solution which will cause little stress, worry and heartache.  Unfortunately, this is not always achievable.

During this time, you can choose to engage with a team of professionals to ensure the best outcome for your elderly parent, whilst providing advice to enable you and your wider family to make a rational decision.

Working with families and their elderly parents, who are transitioning into living in a care facility requires an understanding of all the complexities, emotions, family dynamics and competing interests that are in play. Engaging a team of professionals who have the appropriate level of experience, knowledge and expertise can provide you with key information and remove the stress involved when making important decisions about the care facility and the costs involved.

Seeking financial advice from an aged care specialist during this time can ensure that the decisions that you and your family make will be the right ones, whilst taking into consideration the impact to your elderly parents’ financial situation, age pension entitlements and aged care costs. A lack of knowledge in this area could lead to loss of age pension, increased aged care costs and a reduced estate to be passed on to the next generation.

Using an aged care placement provider is also an important step in the process. A placement provider can assist you in navigating through the search, selection, application and placement process. Some of the services they can offer include:

  • Due diligence on local facilities to create a short list based on your needs
  • Facilitate the facility tours and assistance in selection
  • Assist clients to negotiate lump sum and other fees and charges where possible
  • Assist to complete and submit all the necessary paperwork
  • Assist clients to finalise the transfer

Unfortunately, the timing of entering a care facility is rarely planned and is usually required quickly when an elderly parent has become unwell or had an accident resulting in time in the hospital and then respite care. Not being able to return to the family home dictates tight time restrictions and engaging a team of professionals can assist you to make timely and informed decisions at what is often a very emotional time.

So what is next?

Your elderly parents care journey starts in the family home. Having the conversation about your elderly parents care needs to remain in the family home via a Home Care package is a great starting point.

Whilst this may not provide a solution for their long term care and timeframe to move into an aged care facility, you will have a better understanding of their wishes, objections and fears about moving into care.

It is important that everyone is aware of any plans and wishes that have been discussed are put in place.  It is therefore important to ensure that all siblings are involved in the discussions and agree on the best outcome.

We understand that deciding to move a parent into a care facility can be a very difficult and emotionally charged time.  Engaging a team of professionals that understand what is involved, what needs to be done, and most importantly how to achieve an excellent outcome for your parent is recommended to remove the stress and any potential conflict from yourself and/or siblings.

This article was written by Andrew Heaven – WealthPartners Aged Care Specialist Adviser.