Aged Care Homes Near Me
At The Aged Care Expert, we specialise in helping seniors transition from home into retirement villages, from the family home to a smaller apartment, or from apartment or retirement living into aged care.
And whilst the aged care conversation is one many people avoid until they possibly can, without long-term planning and prudent financial guidance, retirees may suddenly find themselves in a less than optimal situation.
Couples may be separated from partners when one falls ill. In other cases, retirement villages run out of “beds” as care needs grow more advanced, and many seniors simply lose the sense of empowerment and autonomy they enjoyed for most of their lives, because they feel “unprepared” for a “sudden” change.
Having the conversation about moving into aged care can be emotionally fraught for both parties, if it is not approached with sensitivity and a good deal of common sense and planning. Here are our top tips.
- If parents are still able to dress, wash, groom and shop for themselves and the house is reasonably tidy, assume that they may only need a little help. Plant the seed for home help, but talk of anything else should ideally be put in the context of “years down the track”, rather than the immediate here and now.
- Generally though it’s a good idea for seniors to have “the conversation” in their early 70s, so they can communicate future wishes about action plans with their children.
- Reframe negative perceptions aging seniors may have by using conversation starters like:
“John, I’d like to move into a communal village when I grow older, what are your plans for the distant future?”
“Mum, what do you think about getting a gardener to trim the hedges?”
“Dad, how are you feeling about your leg and mobility. Should we get some extra help in? Do you want to stay here or have you thought about downsizing to somewhere with a lift in the next 5-10 years.”
Often planting the seed is the hardest part!
- A recurring theme for for most people as they age is fear that they will lose autonomy; will find difficulty forming friendships; or they fear being “institutionalised” in a large facility.
Pretend it’s you
Many people as they age want to continue living at home, because that’s where they feel safe and comfortable. Others do not want to ask for help for fear of being a burden on their families, while some fear having to move into a nursing home against their will.So what can you do to make this transition easier? Empathy!!!
Without a thoughtful and considered approach, talk of aged care can cause panic and distress, and many studies show that just a mention of the word “nursing home” instils extreme fear into elderly people. Many equate incontinence of the bowel or bladder, memory loss and moving to a nursing home “as a fate even worse than death”.
However when families approach the situation with sensitivity and even humour, years before the time approaches, it is often a lot easier.
Words and phrases to avoid might include: “nursing home”, “assisted living”, “aged care facility”, “you’re getting old”, “you can’t do such and such any more” or “the house needs a lot of upkeep”.
Useful words and phrases to include might be: “down-sizing”, “community living”, “home care”, “homelike villages” “lifestyle villages” or “how about we look at a couple of retirement communities to see what they have?”
If you are further down the track and a partner or parent really does require in-home nursing, be gentle in the approach. Family members should first talk amongst themselves about opinions on assisted living as opinions frequently vary!
Once you have come to an agreement about how your loved one should take that big step, consider a group meeting in a pleasant situation such as a family dinner to broach it. If it has already been discussed years earlier, it may be less painful.
Revisit your plan every year
Once you have established a “plan” it is a good idea to implement the following strategies.
- Make a list of stakeholders you will need in the future – eg GP, friends and relatives mobile and emails.
- List what tasks loved ones struggle with the most, so any home help from ACAT or private contributions from children is utilised most efficiently (for instance they want to shower themselves, but need help scrubbing decks, cleaning air-conditioners and gardening). Establish who is doing what with siblings and home care.
- Can you get the family GP involved in the plan, perhaps with a free over 75 in-home GP assessment which includes a medication and psychological assessment as well as general health, dental health, continence health and blood pressure assessments? Often this a first indication that things are OK for now, while GPs are quick to recognise signs that more help is required (failing memory, failure to shower, severe mobility issues).
Again any conversation about getting help should be positive, with a focus on increasing independence, rather than ways loved ones are not managing.
Engage an aged care financial expert
The Aged Care Expert is dedicated to helping you avoid costly mistakes in retirement.
Our unique, customer-centric approach ensures that every retirement scenario is carefully considered and thoroughly researched to help you execute a retirement/aged care plan that best suits your circumstances.
Chandar Varadhan has more than 20 years’ experience in financial services and is a Certified Financial Planner (currently the highest financial planning qualification in Australia).
He also has a Masters in Business Management (MBM) and an Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning.
A former Compliance Manager for some of Australia’s biggest blue-chip companies, including CBA and AMP, he has an intense working knowledge of the compliance requirements surrounding all financial planning areas including aged care and can offer prudent and timely advice as families manoeuvre through the complex financial services world of aged care. He also services younger people seeking financial advice. Click Here
We service the Sydney region and have many clients in the areas of Parramatta, Hills District, Bella Vista, Blacktown and Hornsby.
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