Aged care reforms have been in the news a lot lately. The reforms are something the government decided to do in response to the complaints from various stakeholders (employees, residents and family of residents) about the poor quality of care in Australia’s aged care facilities.
It’s big news for the millions of Australians who either live in aged care or have an immediate family member in a home. But what does it mean if your parents are still living independently?
Basically, the reforms are going to be rolled out over 10 years1. That means that, by the time your family starts to look at aged care for your parents, the options could be quite a bit different.
Planned reforms that could affect your parents’ choices or plans include:
- more choice and flexibility
- more support to stay at home where suitable
- measures to allow private aged care businesses to reinvest in growth.
In other words, there could be a lot more options and, whilst prices will largely be in the predetermined ‘affordable’ range, desirable extras might cost a bit more.
What’s your family plan?
If your parents are getting on in years, you may have already discussed with them what they’d like to do when they’re no longer able to live 100% independently. Even if you haven’t had the talk, it’s something that’s worth thinking about if they’re over a certain age: stats show that those aged 85+ are more than four times as likely to live in a retirement home, residential hospital or aged care facility than those aged 75-842.
It’s a very personal decision, and naturally an emotional issue to deal with. But it’s important to start planning early so your parent/s can a) get in to the type of care they want/need, and b) pay for it.
1https://agedcare.health.gov.au/ageing-and-aged-care-aged-care-reform/why-is-aged-care-changing Accessed 13 December 2017.
2http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/lookup/2071.0main+features602012-2013 Accessed 13 December 2017.
This article is general information only. Readers should consider getting financial advice before making financial decisions.