How to find support for your ageing parent

Aged Care, Consumers May 30, 2018

Every child goes through the difficult and often stressful process of finding support for ageing parentsThose needing aged care can also add to the strainas many elderly people want nothing more than to remain living in their own homes. If you’re searching for a support solution for your parent or family member, there are a few things you should consider.

Consider your parent’s finances 

Before you start looking into aged care options, you should consider what funds you can use to pay for the services, and whether your parents are eligible for any Government funding.  

Complete an aged care assessment 

My Aged Care is a government-run service that lets those requiring aged care access government-funded services such as in-home care, short-term support, and residential aged care. 

It can be useful to sign up to My Aged Care if you have little experience or knowledge in setting up aged care support for someone. 

To find out whether your parent is eligible for My Aged Care services, they’ll need to complete a face-to-face assessment. If eligible, My Aged Care will then suggest one or more aged care options, including:  

  • help at home (through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme), 
  • complex care at home (through a Home Care Package), 
  • or residential aged care. 

Take a look at My Aged Care for more information about government-funded support. 

If you aren’t happy with your parent’s assessment, you can always contact the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN). 

Remember, nursing homes are not the only option 

There’s a good chance your parent will want to remain living independently in the comfort of their own home – even if they need a helping hand. This is where platforms like Better Caring can help out. 

More and more Australians are turning to consumer-directed care options like those offered on Better Caring. Platforms such as these offer safe, secure support in the homes of those who require aged care. 

Better Caring was established to provide those seeking aged care a flexible option that offers independence for both parties. Support workers on Better Caring set up their own account and attract workers in their own time by personalising their profile and messaging clients. 

The best part is, our platform ensures each worker’s payment rates are transparent to clients. These rates can also be negotiated. 

Your parent can also use their Home Care Package or Commonwealth Home Support Programme funding to pay support workers on Better Caring, or, they can pay privately. They can pay workers in this way whether they self-manage their funds or have a coordinator managing their funds.  

You can find out more about using government funding on Better Caring here. 

It’s also important to note that the most expensive aged care option is usually residential care. Residential care can include basic daily fees, accommodation payments, fees for additional services and a care fee. You can find out more about residential care costs here. 

Think about how you can help 

It’s important to stick close to your ageing parents as they start this chapter of their lives. If your parent moves into residential care, you may be able to visit them daily and help out your parent by partially paying for their care.  

If your parent chooses to receive in-home care through a service like Better Caring, you have the option to review, schedule and control the supports your loved one receives. 

You can even set up and maintain an account on Better Caring on behalf of your parent. To do this, just select “No” when we ask whether you are the person receiving the support.  

Consider what your parent wants 

Dorothy Kamaker from Patient Advocates, understands the importance of ensuring the desires and needs of a person requiring support are prioritised. 

“70 percent of Australians say they wish to have control of where and how they spend their later years but only 14 percent achieve their wishes. Good health and care outcomes are built upon collaborative health management. However, many elderly people lack the communication skills and confidence to promote their own best interests.” 

Don’t forget to take care of yourself  

While you’re helping your loved one find the support they need, it can be easy to forget about your own health. It’s good to remind yourself that you need to care for yourself before providing care for your mum or dad.  

Although the conversation can be daunting, there’s never a wrong time to talk about aged care. For tips on how to start a conversation about aged care with your parent, click here. 

If you’d like your parent to have 24/7 access to flexible, affordable support, sign up to Better Caring today. 

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