How does Australia support aged living? What options are out there?
In this episode John Saunders of The Pittwater Partnership will walk you through the options you have – from retirement villages over home care and nanny flats to residential aged care. John will go through this with a lot more insight than we can, but here are 10 things we learned.
# 1 Retirement Villages
Retirement villages are a lifestyle choice and offer shared facilities and activities. Residents are usually fairly independent, and you are unlikely to gain access if you are already fairly dependant on support. The average age to enter a retirement village is mid 70 years of age.
Retirement villages receive no government support. So there are no asset or income tests to worry about. But the lease contract can be complicated nevertheless. Developers receive concessional approval if the development is for +55 living.
While other options can face an acute shortage of places, for retirement villages that is usually not the case. Make sure you clarify upfront what happens when you require more support.
# 2 Home Care
Home care is for you if you are still fairly independent but need some help and support. You will get assessed and allocated into one of four care levels. At the lower end you get some help with housework and gardening. At the higher end you get help with personal hygiene, meals and other support. For home care there is no asset test, but there is an income test. The main challenge with home care is the acute shortage of places.
# 3 Nanny Flats
One alternative to home care, especially given the acute shortage of home care places, is to build a nanny flat on a relative’s property. For example moving in with a daughter or son. There are some government concessions around the costs to alter or add to the home to accommodate aged living.
# 4 Caravan Parks
When living in a caravan park, you usually own the caravan but rent the land. The disadvantage is that you can’t rely on staying there long term, especially in attractive locations along the coast. As property prices rise, caravan parks often get sold to developers.
# 5 Family Support
Family support plays an important role in aged living. It is often the fall-back solution while waiting for a home care place. But even when in addition to home care or residential aged care, the emotional support families provide around aged living is often invaluable.
# 6 Residential Aged Care
Residential aged care receives generous government subsidies and is hence heavily regulated. There are various fee components to consider which we will cover in episode 103. The average age to enter residential aged care is mid 80 years of age.
Residential aged care has some bad media due to some poor operators. But all up residential aged care often provides a safer environment to vulnerable residents than living alone at home.
# 7 Combination
These are not clear cut options. So you might be able to access home care while living in a retirement village or nanny flat. Or use home care and family support with temporary respite care in a residential aged care facility.
# 8 Family
Finding aged living support is oftenemotionally draining for the aged’s family. There is often a lot of guilt attached to any solution that involves outside help.
Families often provide practical support themselves or pay for additional help, which can be physically and / or financially draining.
# 9 Aged living is a journey
A solution that works well at 80 might no longer work at 90. So aged living is a journey that requires adjustments from time to time as needs change.
# 10 Specialists
Finding the right option and especially then working out how to finance this option can be very confusing. So there are aged care specialists who guide families on this journey.
All this is just our brief take on the issue, but please listen to the episode above. John Saunders explains all this in a much better way than we ever could.
Disclaimer: Tax Talks does not provide financial or tax advice. This applies to these show notes as well as the actual podcast interview. All information on Tax Talks is provided for entertainment purposes only and might no longer be up to date or correct. You should seek professional accredited tax and financial advice when considering whether the information is suitable to your or your client’s circumstances.
Last Updated on 22 May 2019