How will aged care affect your family?
Naturally, when investigating options for an elderly person, finding the right level of care is crucial, as is anticipating future care requirements and planning for them.
Given a choice, most people would prefer to remain in their own homes and the government has committed to ensuring that home care resources will be gradually increased over the coming years and widening the levels of home care.
Costs associated with care are calculated on the single basic age pension and perhaps an extra income tested fee determined by the care required.
The rationale is that those who can afford to pay for care should do so, while the government will subsidise those who don’t have the capacity to pay. Fees are capped on an annual or lifetime basis and indexed annually.
When entering aged care accommodation residents have the choice of:
- paying a Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD), or
- making periodic Deposit Accommodation Payments (DAPs).
To safeguard against the care facility becoming insolvent and unable to repay bonds, the government undertakes to make the repayment to either the resident or their estate. Bond amounts are recovered by the government by it levying a regular fee against the care facility.
Other key aspects of the government’s aged care strategy include:
- No difference between high and low care so that the level of care can be adjusted seamlessly as needed.
- Care facilities are able to offer a wide range of extra-service packages. These are available to all residents for an additional fee, and residents can choose to opt-in or opt-out.
- Additional funding is being allocated to caring for patients with dementia.
- Rental income from the resident’s former home is included in the means test for those entering a residential facility.
- The family home remains exempt from income and asset testing.
My Aged Care website www.myagedcare.gov.au “Types of care and services”