Aged care – the high cost of poor (or no) advice

As a firm offering specialised aged care advice, we know that navigating the aged care decision-making process is not easy, especially if decisions are being made in a crisis when emotions are running high. Frustration, confusion, and anxiety are the most common feelings experienced when arriving at the point of making those important decisions with little preparation.

When aged care decisions go wrong, the resultant stress can lead to family conflicts. Mistakes can be costly, both financially and emotionally.

Four key mistakes we often see people make when they don’t get advice are:

  1. Selling the home without understanding the consequences
  2. Being afraid to pay a lump sum (refundable accommodation deposit) for a room in residential care
  3. Not generating enough cashflow
  4. Providing the wrong information to Services Australia.

Examples of advice gone bad include:

  • Advice on the implications of keeping a home that did not consider how the situation could change after two years. This left a family with financial problems when the age pension was unexpectedly lost after two years.
  • Incorrect financial details were provided to Services Australia, which saw clients charged more than they could afford for aged care fees.

As you can see, there can be significant costs and other implications when aged care decisions are made without the assistance of someone who knows and understands the landscape well. Things like:

  • A person with a carer living in their home may be able to enter care as a low-means resident with additional government subsidies. But if the carer loses Carer Payment, unpaid fees will accumulate, and families may be stuck with a large debt to pay without warning.
  • A child in a family may be able to help a parent fund the cost of an aged care room by using their own money to pay the lump sum Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD). Without expert financial advice, payment of the RAD could lead to higher aged care fees.

This is why it’s important to:

  • Seek aged care advice in advance of critical aged care decisions needing to be made
  • Seek aged care advice from a specialist

The cost of getting the wrong aged care advice can be high. And the stress of leaving things too late can cause terrible conflict in families.

Seeking advice in advance gives you and your family the best options when it comes to planning, anticipating future changes and mitigating problems. Seeking an aged care specialist’s advice ensures you’re making the most well-informed and timely decisions possible.

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