Seeking professional advice around the financial decisions associated with Aged Care will allow you to concentrate on the wellbeing of the person you are helping.
The Commonwealth Government regulates and subsidises residential aged care for people as they become older and are no longer able to live independently in their own home. This is regulated under the Aged Care Act 1997 by the Department of Health however the client service functions and assessments are outsourced to the Department of Human Services (DHS).
Logical can assist with:
- Deciding whether the preferred facility is affordable
- Deciding whether to retain or sell the family home
- Comparing the impact of different levels of accommodation costs
- Determining which fees will apply and how much they are likely to be
- Structuring cashflow to pay for ongoing care fees
- Maximising Centrelink/DVA benefits
- Minimising ongoing means tested fees
Before a client can move into a government subsidised aged care place they will need approval from an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT – but called an Aged Care Assessment Service, ACAS, in Victoria). The ACAT/ACAS assessment received by a client will indicate whether the person is eligible for respite or permanent care or both. It may also indicate that they are eligible for home care.
Aged care services (facilities) need to assess the care needs of a person seeking admission to determine if they have the resources and capabilities to provide the care needed before offering the person a placement. This is particularly relevant for clients with dementia as specific care facilities may be required.
The accommodation prices and additional service fees vary between service providers (and maybe even across rooms within a facility) but ongoing care fees are based on an assessment of both assets and income. The amount of government subsidies paid to top up the cost of care depend on an Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) assessment conducted by the service 28 days after the person enters permanent care.
Some aged care services provide additional services such as a choice of meals, glass of wine/beer with meals, podiatry services, newspapers etc for additional fees. This can be packaged with the room (if approved as an extra-services facility) or be an option that the client can choose to pay for. The Resident Agreement outlines details of the services provided as well as the additional daily fee for these services.
- Refundable Accommodation Deposits and Daily Accommodation Payments
- Funding options
- Implications of retaining or selling the home
- Affordability / Managing Cash flow
- Centrelink Age Pension
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