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Changes to pension and aged care rules pose threat for Adelaide retirees

It is now clear that modifications to the rules governing pensions and age care have just one thing to say to the public: find alternative means to finance your retirement. These latest changes to pension and aged care rules pose a new threat to Adelaide retirees – as if they needed any more!

The Abbott-Turnbull governments’ introduced programs and initiatives may not appear that substantial.  However, if one looks at the bigger picture, it’s easy to see huge cuts to government funding for older Australians.

Alterations to means-testing for the aged pension, eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC) and the management of the account-based pension, are all aimed at reducing public funds for retirees.

Natasha Panagis, technical specialist at advice business Strategy Steps said, “The government is pushing retirees to use their own capital to fund their retirement.”

The biggest and most contentious reduction in subsidies for senior Australians are the stricter rules around means-testing for the age pension and the level to which pension payments can be influenced by additional savings.  These two measures were introduced in the May budget and approved by parliament.

In the new Turnbull administration, the following changes will take effect in January 2017:

  • The threshold for a part pension for couples who own their home will be reduced from $1.1 million to $820,000;
  • The threshold for a part pension for single or unmarried homeowners will be reduced from $775,000 to $ 547,000.

Thus, the government has declared that an estimated 91,000 people will no longer be qualified for the part pension and an additional 235,000 people will have their pension payments reduced.

Furthermore, for every $1000 in savings a retiree is set to lose $3 in $1.50. In all measures combined the government is projected to save $2.4 billion to 2019.

All this means that the capacity of many middle-income earners to retain their current level of pension will be greatly diminished.  In order to qualify for the full pension, the value of assets retirees can own on top of the family home is expected to go up from $286,500 to $375,000.  In addition, rental income from property will no longer be exempt from means-testing for any age care payment.

Strategy Steps, in a memorandum to their clients, warned “Clients who move into care after 31 December 2015 may find it more difficult to fund their retirement if they have limited financial resources and wish to keep the family home. Financial advice around aged care funding and cash-flow management will become more critical for these families.”

The burden to senior Australians does not end there.

Starting this month, in January 2016, non-taxable superannuation income was added to the means-test for the CSHC, making it harder for older Australians to qualify for the card. The Seniors Health Card gives discounts on prescription medicines, concessional rail travel on certain lines and, depending on the state, additional health, education and recreation allowances.

In a step aimed at keeping workers in employment for longer, the age at which people can access their super savings went from 55 to 56 in July 2015 – something that is expected to rise further in coming years.

On a more positive note, the government rejected a recommendation by the David Murray Financial System Inquiry to prohibit borrowing by self-managed super funds in order to buy shares and property.

In a bonus for individuals who unwittingly put too much money into the super, starting 2015 people who surpass their annual after-tax contributions limit may choose to have the contributions and associated earnings released from their super accounts.  These excess contributions no longer attract tax at the top marginal tax rate.  However, the associated earnings will be taxed at the marginal tax rate on top of the Medicare levy.

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Super to Fund Aged Care Costs Through Home Equity?

The Association of Superannuation Funds (ASFA) is looking for ways to help its members prepare better for aged care, and according to its chief executive this may result in new home equity schemes to fund nursing home costs. 

In her address to the ASFA conference recently, Pauline Vamos noted that the government would soon experience a heavier fiscal load due to the ageing population and when this happens, seniors would be pressured to fund health and aged care costs on their own. Consequently, the association is calling its superannuation fund members to improve their planning and preparation for retirement, and the development of new financial products to fund aged care through home equity is one of the measures the association suggests.

Ms Pauline Vamos made a forecast that by 2055 aged care costs would represent an annual hit to the federal budget of $220 billion. According to a paper prepared by Ms Vamos, this would likely result in funding cuts to the sector.

The ASFA paper explores the possibility of innovating super funds by developing financial products that tap into real estate in order to release housing equity. The paper suggested mechanisms such as downsizing, equity release products, or contingent loans could be used for aged care costs.

For most retirees the home is their greatest asset. In a political environment of growing pressure on the federal budget and mounting debate regarding the fairness of government providing aged pension to wealthy home owners, the family home is increasingly being regarded as a source of funding for retirement

In 2055 when the local 30 year-olds of today are retiring in Adelaide, federal government expenditure on aged care is projected to reach $290 billion. Even if the government decides not to cut health and aged care funding, the higher volumes of seniors will inevitably mean that more people will need to find ways to fund aged care for themselves.

According to AFSA, in 2008 a woman aged 65 years had a 54% chance of needing residential aged care and men on the other hand stood a 37% chance of requiring full-time aged care (men have shorter life expectancy). Seven years later, the average woman is now facing an ‘odds-on chance’ that she will soon need to enter a residential aged care that she can barely afford.

Ross Clare, director of policy of ASFA, said that people today are more likely to have the need for aged care services because of increased life expectancy. And as people live longer, there is a higher chance that they would need greater level and quality of care, especially those who have ailments such as dementia.

It seems that perhaps more than ever, Adelaide residents need better access to financial products and services to help them navigate aged care successfully. Equity release products such as reverse mortgage should be explored by individuals as a legitimate option, but good financial advice and that plans for the future may still be the best preparation for seniors who want quality of life in their retirement years.

Regards, Carmela

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How ’emotions’ can ruin your aged care finances

There is no doubt that Adelaide families going through the transition to aged care experience a highly emotional time.

Adult children find it hard to let go of the family home, while parents often think they have no other options to fund the accommodation bond, or what is now known as the ‘Refundable Accommodation Deposit’ (RAD). This is the typical scenario for tens of thousands of Australian families who are moving to aged care every year. Sadly, as reported recently more families fall into trap of making costly mistakes because of following their emotions, instead of getting a proper financial advice.

It’s not hard to understand why. The aged care system is becoming more complex each year and while costs are fairly reasonable by international standards, many Adelaide residents and their families are shocked by the costs for nursing home accommodation  – they are not prepared for multiple layers of fees, often much more than what they had anticipated.

The recent implementation of Living Longer, Living Better reforms have taken the aged care system to a whole new level. Though many in the industry such as aged care providers are pleased with its flexibility, the public don’t seem to like the complexity and greater focus on ‘user pays’. Those who are navigating aged care for the first time must learn new terms such as ‘RADs’ and ‘DAPs’. They also need to complete a 31-page income and asset assessment form. For someone still trying to work out how to possibly raise funds for nursing home costs, this can be quite overwhelming.

Adult children usually come to the rescue and help parents decide on how to deal with the aged care finances. But most often, adult children have their own preferences and this might be a source of conflict too.

What should you do with the family home?

Most often, families get attached to the family home and find it hard to let go. Both parents and adult children understandably have a special attachment to it and this usually affects their decision on whether to sell the family home or not.

If the parent will most likely not return to the family home, then there are fewer practical reasons to hold on to it. Also, if it is valued just a little more than the accommodation bond, it is harder to justify keeping the home. However, keeping the home and raising the aged care entry fees by other means such as a reverse mortgage can sometimes be a much better financial decision.

In any case, it is important that both children and parents thoroughly understand the financial aspect of care and avoid letting emotions affect their decision-making process.

Getting aged care financial advice in Adelaide

An aged care financial advice plan does attract a cost, but it is a sound investment and will help the family avoid expensive mistakes. When it comes to your family home and aged pension eligibility, you don’t want to take chances. It’s crucial to put emotions to the side and understand all the implications of your decisions.

If you want a stress-free journey to aged care, Adelaide Aged Care Financial Advisers can help you build strategies for funding your accommodation bond. For peace of mind and informed financial decision, call us today for a free initial consultation on 1300 422 232.

Regards, Carmela

5 Reasons Why Men Resist Adelaide Aged Care Services

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Older men continue to access home care services far less than women.

New data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows that older women are much more likely to use home care services compared to men, making up 2 out of 3 consumers. The same report also reveals that women are also the predominant users of home care services across all package levels and ages. This gender gap is also true in residential aged and elderly services in SA and Adelaide.

Advocates for men’s health encourage care providers to address the barriers older men experience in using assisted services.  In June, Community Care Review reported on low use of aged care services among men and the need to revisit service strategies to reach them out.

But why do older men are generally disinterested in seeking help? Read on to find out.

Five Reasons Why Older Men Resist Adelaide Aged Care Services 

Exploring certain obstacles that older men experience in accessing aged care services will help you understand the gender gap. Accessing elderly care services is vital in living longer and living better, which is recommended for all regardless of gender.

Adelaide Aged Care Financial Advisers delve into the top reasons why older men refuse aged care services.

1. “Home care is too feminine.”

Older men usually value outdoor activities more than the idea of relaxing at home. This generation of men consider home care services as a domain of women, so they think that if they avail of such service, they will become less manly. This misconception could be loosely attributed to the imagery and language used by care providers in their promotional materials, where the pictures used are mostly of older women. Hence, older men think the services are not for them, particularly at community services that are often framed around activities that in the past were completely associated with women such as domestic care and chatting with friends over tea.

2. “I don’t want to rely on charity.”

Relying on charity is a taboo for most blokes instilled during their childhood. Even though aged care system is a component program of the Department of Social Services to help senior Adelaide citizens, some elderly think of it as charitable work and most men are simply not into it.

3. I’m not weak. I can live without help.”

Most aged care providers in Adelaide promote their services to assist the elderly to maintain their independence at home. But older men see this as a flawed proposition. They often ask, “how could I be independent, if I would ask help?” This contradiction is at the core of most care providers, because they are talking about the values of independence, yet they are highlighting assisted care. Even in advertisements, brochures, and catalogues, most men are depicted as weak recipients of care. This is a common barrier for older men, who likes to think that they are strong and assisted service is not relevant for them.

4. “I don’t want to be a burden to anyone.”

The older generation of men value their self-reliance and independence. Many of them worked for decades to provide and take care of their wives and children. And now that they are retired, most of them feel depressed thinking that as they age, they will become a burden to their families. Much as they don’t want help from their family or friends, they also resist domestic assistance even from professional carers. It’s often difficult for men to keep their sense of dignity when they need help in bathing or getting dressed.

5. “I wasn’t aware of Adelaide aged care services available for me.”

There are cases that older men were not able to seek aged care services because they were simply not aware of the available services for them. This is fairly common for older men with different social, educational, and linguistic background.

How to Bridge the Gender Gap

Encouraging older men to access elderly care services in South Australia takes a concerted effort of all stakeholders – the Australian government, the care providers, the families, and of course the beneficiaries.

Probably, you have been reading this because you are thinking of availing aged care services, yet you are experiencing some barriers described above. It’s perfectly fine to take hold of your old values. Your family and friends, in fact, admire you for that. But seeking help will not make you less manly, but will help you enjoy your life after working hard for years. With aged care system, you can avoid the stress and difficulties of retirement, and enjoy your senior years.

Families and friends should always encourage their loved ones to access these services. They can assist them in learning more about aged care services in Adelaide, and help them choose the most suitable type of service for them.

For its part, the Government of Australia has already rolled out the Consumer Directed Care (CDC) as basis for care providers in delivering their services. With the CDC, you can have more say to the structure and manner of the services you receive. In theory, this initiative can improve the uptake of services among older men, but of course it will still depend on how the system is actually implemented. (Also read our in-depth blog post about CDC)

Meanwhile, the official website of Australia’s Aged Care System can be accessed in other languages including Arabic, German, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and many more. It also coordinates with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for Translating and Interpreting Service.

Aside from complying with the principles of CDC, care providers must also be innovative in their language and imagery to increase the perceived relevancy of the services among older men. They should also offer services that are suitable for men and will not compromise their value for independence and self-reliance.

If you think you need help in understanding how your aged service is funded and how to manage your funds, please feel free to contact Adelaide Age Care Financial Advisers on 1300 422 232 for a confidential chat.

Regards,

Carmela

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Elderly falls: A major cause of preventable injury for the aged in SA

Did you know that falls were the second biggest cause of elderly hospital admissions last year? The Royal Melbourne Hospital released new statistics that re-confirm that falls are a major cause of injury for the elderly and most of these injuries happen at home. This is greater than admissions for strokes, dementia, or disease for the over 70 age group. Typical injuries sustained from a fall are sprains, bruises, dislocations, and unfortunately sometimes even death. Falls are a major preventable cause of injury for the aged & elderly in SA and Adelaide.

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 424,000 fatal falls occur each year. Globally around 28-35% of people aged 65 and above will take a fall every year. In fact, about 10-15% of all emergency department visits have falls as the main cause. More than 50% of all injury-related hospitalisations due to falls come from people aged 65 and above. According to David Goding, Director of Morris Goding Access Consulting (MGAC), a consultancy that provides expert advice on all areas of building accessibility, there is nothing surprising about these figures.

A fall is preventable

“The number of fall incidents for the elderly could be substantially reduced by making simple adjustments in the home,” said David Goding. “The more risk factors in the home, the more likely an elderly person will fall. Minimising risk factors can be as simple as fixing hand rails in the shower, using rubber bath mats, increasing adequate lighting or checking that chair legs are stable.”

“Preventative measures are essential to wellbeing in older age. I highly recommend that anyone with concerns about themselves or a loved one, to seek an expert to review the home environment and make recommendations about changes that will reduce their risk of falls – preferably before an accident happens,” said Goding.

Tips on how to prevent falls:

Based on the data, if you are a senior or aged resident living at home, you are more likely to be at risk of a fall. Medical conditions and physical changes simply make you more vulnerable to falling.

Here are some simple tips to help you prevent falls:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If rising up to get something becomes harder, ask a housemate to get it for you or accompany you.
  • Wear the right footwear. Your fall-prevention plan starts with the right gear. Ditch those slippery shoes and wear something comfortable, yet sturdy, with non-skid soles.
  • Stretch those muscles. As long as you have your doctor’s approval, you can do gentle exercises that will improve your balance, strength, coordination, and flexibility.
  • Keep your walkways clean and free from obstruction. Hallways and stairways should be free from clutter, electrical cords, and loose rugs.
  • Use proper lighting. Stay away from dim lights to avoid tripping over hard-to-see objects. Keep your home brightly lit at all times.
  • Use assistive devices. A cane or a walker can help you keep steady while walking.

Repeated falls by an elderly person can be a sign to the family that they may need aged care. If you are in Adelaide and think your relative may need aged care soon, please feel free to contact us for help on aged care admission in South Australia.

Regards, Carmela

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Grant received for programs supporting Adelaide LGBTI inclusive aged care

The Gay and Lesbian Foundation of Australia (GALFA) recently announced a new round of funding for helping LGBTI-inclusive care in Adelaide, SA and the whole country. The funding will work as part of the Sidney Myer Fund and is intended for projects that support the healthy wellbeing of older LGBTI people in Australia.

Previous problems that hindered LGBTI seniors to fully access and enjoy Adelaide aged care services should be the main focus of any funded projects. According to GALFA director and treasurer Ian Gould, there are many LGBTI seniors who grew up in an era where homosexuality was considered taboo. Theirs has been a constant battle to achieve community acceptance and the problem can persist as they enter residential aged care. This also leads them not to disclose their gender identity for fear of rejection and discrimination.

Mr Gould pointed out that aged care providers should have an environment that welcomes and embraces ageing LGBTI people. They should have access to the same services as everyone else, without making them feel rejected or unwanted. Providers need to be comfortable that gay and lesbian couples exist and will enter their establishments.

Valued at up to $15,000, the fund is part of the Sidney Myer Fund’s Poverty and Disadvantage Small Grants Program. The grant is now on its third round and is focused on strategies and programs that address the emotional and physical nurturing of LGBTI seniors.

Applications from all areas of health and aged care are encouraged and most are welcomed. The grant is not solely intended for LGBTI-focused groups. According to Mr Gould, mainstream aged care providers could have some ‘equally good or better ideas’ that are worth exploring.

Helping Hand’s “Turn Up Your Voice” is the first funding recipient

The first recipient of the funding was Helping Hand for their program Turn Up Your Voice. The program seeks to provide a sheltered and encouraging environment for LGBTI consumers that want to access aged care. They work with experts in the field to find ways to effectively deliver proper aged care to older LGBTI people.

Turn Up Your Voice is intended for LGBTI people who may have felt rejected and discriminated in some way. The program is part of a broader plan to achieve Rainbow Tick accreditation for Helping Hand. Rainbow Tick accreditation is a set of national standards developed by Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria.

The National LGBTI Health Alliance’s Virtual Visitors

The second project funded by GALFA and the Sydney Myer Fund was the Virtual Visitors by The National LGBTI Health Alliance. Virtual Visitors is an online platform that allows building of networks in support of LGBTI seniors. This is intended for older LGBTI people who might feel isolated. One of the main causes of mental health issues is depression, which this program seeks to minimise.

How to apply for a grant?

Applications for the third round of funding are available until August 24. Forms and details can be accessed through GALFA’s website.

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Adelaide Elderly To Pay More For ‘Home Care Packages’?

Around 72,000 people under Home Care Packages (HCP) in Australia will experience change in the way they receive their benefits come July 1st. A new program called Consumer Direct Care (CDC) will replace the current government funded stay-at-home care schemes for the elderly. Many Adelaide pensioners and seniors will be affected by the transition. As early as now, there are debates about whether this will make them better off or not. Are the Adelaide Elderly To Pay More For ‘Home Care Packages’?

The new scheme will allow recipients more control and options on their care packages. Under CDC, the recipients will be told how much their package is worth and it’s up to them to negotiate to their care providers for the type of service that they want.

There are some care providers who are already transitioning to CDC. Although the government has guaranteed that no one will be worse off under the scheme, some still have doubts whether this move will be good or bad for the finances and cash-flow of the elderly. Those who have experienced the transition have mixed reviews about this.

Generally, CDC is good because it gives you options and a lot of seniors feel a ‘personal involvement’ in getting aged care service. One can now arrange the timing of care with a provider and schedule it in a way that is most convenient for them and their family. If for example your wife will be out for a couple of days, you can bank hours by minimising the hours a week before and then ask the care provider to render more hours while your wife is away. The CDC scheme allows flexibility and the ability to discuss issues with the care provider and come up with solutions that are beneficial for the recipient.

On the other hand, the problem arises when it comes to the financial side. Admittedly, the government funding seems insufficient and groups like Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA) believes that CDC has missed out one major concern:  cross-subsidisation. In effect, those with lesser needs will have to ‘subsidise’ those who are in need of more intensive care.

This July, the funding will go directly to the recipients and it’s up to them how they will use it. There are some who complain that they are losing out on CDC. For instance, a 99-year old mother who recently transitioned to CDC can only afford 9.5 hours worth of home care, as opposed to the previous 19.5 hours she was getting under HCP. This 10-hour reduction will cost her and her family $1,500 a week and $78,000 a year if they want the same level of care the HCP gives.

For now, that family is left with no choice under the new scheme. Are they better off? Certainly not. Now they have to pull out their resources just to meet their mother’s aged care requirements. The daughter said that perhaps it’s time to sell some furniture.

If you are in Adelaide or SA and you think you need some advice about your aged care, please feel free to call Adelaide Aged Care Financial Advisers on 1300 422 232.

Regards, Carmela

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Financial Fears: Adelaide Seniors Losing Accommodation

As a home owner, you have options to sell the home, borrow money against it, or rent it out to pay for your residential aged care fees.  But what if you are a retiree who doesn’t own your own home and needs to have a part-time job just to be able to afford rent? This is far from ideal, but the number of seniors in Adelaide & Australia facing this financial fear of losing accommodation continues to increase.

Since there is little or no legal protection at all for elderly tenants who are living in boarding and lodging accommodation, seniors who rent are afraid of being homeless and getting evicted anytime their landlord wish to. In fact, according to a recent research, bullying of senior tenants is prevalent nowadays. Landlords and management feel entitled to be above their tenants and thus, seniors are frequently afraid to voice out their concerns or ask for repairs. Doing so will make them at risk of getting evicted or receiving rent increase.

This is a national concern since the number of seniors living in rental accommodation is growing. Aside from not being given proper aged care, these seniors are living in fear of not having a shelter in case they run out of funds and can’t work anymore. A research facilitated by the University of Western Australia’s Law School strongly suggests that state laws governing family accommodation should be amended as soon as possible. The research also gave recommendations to increase awareness and educate older people about their choices on accommodation.

The fear of not being able to pay rent is not the only problem arising when seniors or the aged are staying in a rental accommodation. They also fear that they can be evicted at any time because of lack of rules that protect them. Thus, a way of securing tenure should also be adapted in upcoming laws.

Consider this scenario: A senior couple, who are renting accommodation have to work part-time to supplement their age pension to be able to afford the rent. Aged 72 and 76 respectively, the couple is in a position where they should be enjoying their retirement and not worrying about their rent. They could have had an affordable housing supplied by the government, but they have been told that they are not earning enough to qualify. They sought another option through state housing, but they were also declined because they are apparently earning ‘too much.’ This has left the couple with very limited options and thus, they succumb to renting accommodation – even in extreme old age.

This is not new. There are many Australians who are in the same situation as this couple.  And with the rise of baby boomers ready to retire soon, we should be prepared to create a community wherein seniors have the chance to have a dignified and secure retirement.

This is also why, no matter what age you are, you need to start preparing for your future years now. It is never too early to plan your finances and get advice regarding your financial options. If you want to a comfortable retirement, you need help to get it right. For expert aged care advice & retirement planning in Adelaide, you can call us at 1 300 422 232.

Regards, Carmela

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To Sell or Not? Aged Care Fees & The Family Home

When it’s time to move into aged care facility, older Adelaide residents face a difficult decision—to sell or not to sell the family home.

Selling the family home has in the past been the obvious choice for many; the proceeds of the sale being used to pay for aged care entry fees. Although it remains a popular option for many Adelaide families, the new aged care reforms are changing the game. Suddenly, it’s not just about being able to pay the accommodation bond anymore.  Under the new set of reforms, you must pay the Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) or Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP) upon entry to a residential aged care, plus the Basic Daily Fee and often the Means Tested Care Fee once you are receiving care.

To sell the family home and use the proceeds to pay the nursing home fees might still be the best choice. However, if your house  is valued a lot higher than the cost of the bond, it may be better to keep the home. The truth is there is no one rule of thumb to guide everyone in making the decision. Every one has different circumstances, source of income, assets, and value of home. Not to mention that different nursing homes charge different ‘RAD’ or ‘DAP’ entry fees. It is such a complex decision that financial advice from a specialist aged care financial planner local to Adelaide is usually a wise investment.

Aside from the accommodation bond (now called ‘RAD’ or ‘DAP’), you also need to consider funding for the Basic Daily Fee, which is valued at $46.50 as of July 2014. This pays for your basic daily living expenses. The Means Tested Care Fee is a further charge that is means tested against your assets and income. In addition to this, there may also be an Additional Service Fee, which nursing homes can charge for extra services and luxuries you choose while you are in an aged care facility.

As this article illustrates, the Means Tested Care Fee can actually work in your favour and give you good financial reasons for holding on to family home. The Means Tested Care Fee considers any upfront payment as an asset, while it only includes the first $154,179 of the value of your home.

If you decide to keep your home, you must also consider if it can be rented out easily or it needs extensive work or renovations. This is important because depending on the way your aged care costs have been negotiated, you might need to rely to rental income for the cash flow required to cover aged care fees. If you think the value of your home will increase significantly in the years to come, renting it out can be a more viable option for you than completely letting go of the house through sale.

Whether you decide to keep or sell the home, it’s also usually a good idea to consult your family members. Although it may make financial sense to sell, emotions can often come in to play and family may not be comfortable renting it out to strangers or disposing of the property in a sale. Sit down together and discuss your options. If your spouse or carer still stays at home the decision might be more complex still, so don’t be afraid to seek professional aged care advice to weigh all the options.An aged care financial adviser can often answer your questions and explain the implications of your decision. If you decide to keep the Adelaide home, your financial planner can help you make a plan and formulate strategies to fund your aged care fees.

It is often a highly emotional time whenever a family member is making a transition to a nursing home.  But with proper planning and preparation, you can have a stress-free journey to aged care. If you want a guide for your journey to aged care and avoid costly mistakes, call us today at 1 300 422 232. 

Regards, Carmela

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Getting To Know ‘Aged Care Assessment Teams’ SA (ACAT)

Most families go through a confusing time whenever a loved one needs an entry to residential aged care. The good news is, your local Aged Case Assessment Teams in SA will help you get started on your journey to aged care. The first thing you need to do when you are considering moving to a residential aged care facility is to visit your local Aged Care Assessment Team or ‘ACAT’ as they are known.

The Aged Care Assessment Teams in SA or Adelaide are usually located near hospitals and assessment is done by a doctor, nurse, or a social worker. They are the ones who will determine if you are eligible for aged care. Though they might suggest several aged care facilities in your area that are suitable for you, your family is still the one responsible for arranging your entry to your chosen residential aged care facility.

Search for your local SA ACAT here.

Whether you think that staying in a nursing home is for you or not, it is important that you still consult with ACAT because they can help you assess what kind of Home Care packages you might need. Several types of services are offered in Home Care packages, including, but not limited to:

  • Personal services – help in daily personal routines such as bathing, dressing, and mobility
  • Support services – general help with basic house maintenance such as cleaning, washing and ironing, or transport for doing groceries and visiting your doctor
  • Clinical care – involves nursing and health care support like physiotherapy

Trigger events that require immediate attention of ACAT

While you need an ACAT assessment when you want to access aged care services or receive certain home services, there are some trigger events that require immediate attention of your local ACAT. Get in touch with them as soon as possible if any of these events happen:

  • Stroke
  • Heart Attack
  • A fall at home
  • Early signs of dementia
  • Recovering from surgery

In events like these, ACAT might recommend care alternatives like respite care, low level residential aged care, or high level residential aged care.

As soon as ACAT assesses and recommends you need aged care in any form, it is important that you seek financial advice right away. Adelaide Aged Care Financial Advisers is here to help you plan your finances and avoid common mistakes you could make on your aged care journey.

Regards, Jonathan