It’s a Shame It’s So Difficult For Children To Help With Their Parents’ Aged Care Costs

An Aged Care Facility

An Aged Care Facility

My client wanted assistance to place his parents into an aged care facility. This was one of those situations where we needed to move quickly as they were at risk of having insufficient support at home.  It’s not always easy to find shared accommodation for a couple and they wanted to be together. This elderly couple only had their pensions and $2000 between them, meaning that they easily fell within the Fully Supported threshold.  Trying to access a fully supported bed in a home is hard enough, but finding two at the same time is difficult.  We also had the added complication of finding a facility where staff or residents spoke Croatian.  It is generally much easier to find accommodation in an aged care facility if it is not a Fully Supported bed.
The son had the means to help achieve a broader choice by lending his parents enough money to pay their RAD, so they no longer fell into the Fully Supported category under Centrelink’s ruling.  This needed to be provided before paperwork was submitted to Centrelink. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds, as Centrelink would have assessed the money he gifted to his parents for the RAD as an asset, which is then taken into account for the means tested care fee. The upshot is that the daily care fee would have been much higher and beyond his parents’ capacity to pay. This fact, together with difficulty in raising the cash funds in time, made him decide not to provide extra funds, thus his parents came under the Fully Supported status.
If I was in this situation and I could afford to help my parents, then, why shouldn’t I?   Aged care is becoming a user pays system now, and I can’t see how funding your parents in aged care negatively impacts on society.   If it’s done correctly with financial and legal advice and there is no ‘double dipping’, then what is the harm? A family recently took on the government in a legal action on this very matter and eventually won, but it was a long and expensive process and has not affected Centrelink’s assessment of this ruling
My client is very fortunate in that I was able to find an aged care facility for his parents which he feels meets their social and care needs.  There is a lovely chef at this facility who is Croatian and is happy to translate when required.  If they hadn’t known of my services as an Aged Care Placement Consultant they may not have found such a suitable home, or indeed may still be looking. I’m so glad I could help them.

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