Tag: aged care placement

I think it’s time mum or dad got some help

Welcome to 2017.  Many of us will have seen our parents over the summer break and noticed that things don’t seem to be going that well at home for them any more.  Maybe it is time to start looking for help.

Your parents may have been coping on their own for many years, but you might have noticed  some things recently that make you worry. Their increasing forgetfulness, the state of their home or their frailty may be starting to worry you.  If any of this sounds familiar, it’s time to start thinking and talking about aged care.

This is a big decision in your mum or dad’s life, so it’s important you start talking to them about their options as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may find you need to make the decision in a rush after an adverse health event and that means they will probably have to compromise.

Your parents may be able to cope better with help at home and that can often be enough to give the family peace of mind and help parents come to terms with getting older and needing help.  They might be considering moving into a smaller home and are thinking of a retirement village or an aged care facility.

The transition to aged care isn’t straightforward.  Understanding the options and knowing where to start is often confusing and difficult.

That’s where Signpost comes in.  We can help you understand the options so you can make an informed choice and we can manage the whole transition for you including helping you to select the best provider,  negotiating the terms with the provider and doing the paperwork.

So if you’re contemplating aged care for a loved one and don’t know where to start – don’t delay. Call us today on 1800 744 676 for an obligation-free chat on how we can assist you and your family to get the best aged care outcome.


Until next time,

Sara and Margaret



What is aged care placement?

What is aged care placement?

When an elderly person has been hospitalised as a result of a trauma, families are often told by the hospital staff or doctor that their loved one cannot go home and needs to move into a nursing home.  The family is commonly told that they have a limited period of time (often just a number of days) to find a suitable aged care facility.

Unless the elderly person or family has planned for this event, the ensuing process of finding an aged care facility with a vacancy, deciding whether it is suitable, understanding the costs and working out how to pay for the home is overwhelming.

The aged care system is complex and most people find it difficult to get their head around it in a short period of time.

Families who have recently placed another loved one in care, the system is undergoing significant change and things are probably not the same as last time. This leaves the family open to making mistakes and not understanding the full ramifications of the decision that has been made and not getting the best outcome for their loved one.

Why should I use aged care placement consultants?

Aged care placement is a service that helps people find a suitable aged care facility for their loved one.  Aged care placement services are usually experts at navigating the minefield of aged care and understand how the system works and how to get the optimum result for your loved one.

Did you know you can negotiate with an aged care residential facility? Negotiating the cost in an excellent reason to use an aged care placement consultant. As they are repeat referrers, to many aged care residential facilities and they can often negotiate a better deal.  There are a growing number of aged care placement services in Australia and what you get for the service differs amongst providers.

What does an aged care placement service provide?

At a minimum, an aged care placement service will provide you with a shortlist of potential homes in your preferred area, help you understand the process and the costs of aged care and assist with the paperwork for entry into a facility.  Others provide a more expansive service; for example, they may negotiate the costs with the provider, arrange tours of the selected facilities, help you with the application paperwork for the facility, assist you with the Centrelink paperwork and/or provide you with legal and/or financial advice.  Some services are combined with financial planners.  Some have been around for a long time and some are new players with staff who have often had experience in aged care.

Aged care placement services will usually be able to help you find the right solution in the very short time allowed and assist you to get the best outcome both financially and emotionally because they do it regularly.  The price for the service varies from around $1500 to around $2500 depending on what services you receive.  Families often receive at least that amount in benefits from using the service either through negotiation of costs or structuring of arrangements.

Placement services are well worth considering if you or your loved one need to find an aged care facility.  At Signpost Aged Care Services, we offer a comprehensive placement service so if you or someone you know is struggling to find a suitable place for a loved one, call us for help on 1800 744 676.

Until next time
Sara and Margaret

The Future of Aged Care Places

Aged Care Places in Australia from 2015 to 2025

Future aged care places or placement availability is being questioned. In an article that I read this week called “Aged care ‘winners and losers’ in 2015” highlighted some startling facts that are emerging with the federal government changes to aged care.  The author predicts that within the next 10 years the number of not for profit aged care places offered will halve from 60% to 30%.  The church and charity providers will find it hard to compete with more providers being publicly listed and raising new capital that will be pumped in to the aged care sector.  As described by Dr Judd (CEO Hammond Care NSW) “increased competition in aged care will mean only providers who offer exceptional quality, a differentiated product or who compete well on price will survive. We are already seeing a change in the environment with a huge growth among the big players and private operators.”

Transfer from Public to Private Nursing Homes

So what will this mean for our elderly population? At the moment in Victoria we are seeing the sale of publicly owned nursing homes to private enterprise and the acquisition of aged care facilities by a selected group of large aged care providers. Will this shift mean that the altruistic and social goals of the majority of providers will be lost?  We hope not.

What Aged Care Service Do Consumers Want

Consumers of aged care services  are looking for good physical and mental care, social inclusion and a place of residence that offers peace of mind. That can be done even with profit in mind.   We hope the industry will retain a social conscious and ensure a percentage of supported or discounted beds, which are advertised as available to those with low means, are offered within aged care facilities so everyone can be content and well cared for as they age.

Until next week

Sara and Margaret

Our ‘Top 10 List’ of problems with the aged care reforms

Living Longer Living Better

New rules for aged care have been coming into effect since the publication of Living Longer Living Better in 2011.

Have the rules effected problems in aged care?

In a previous post we explained the residential options in aged care, that article may assist in reading this post.

We are starting to see how these new rules are working and the general consensus from those in the industry who we speak to are that they are confusing.

So here are the top 10 problems or issues in this aged care update that we have encountered to date.

Top 10 problems in Aged Care and Living Longer Living Better

  • The current delays at Centrelink in processing the Permanent Residential Aged Care Request for a Combined Assets and Income Assessment forms.  We understand that Centrelink has experienced a number of technical issues which have meant long delays in obtaining the assessments.  This has lead to considerable confusion, especially for those who are on the cusp of the partially supported threshold.
  • The confusion about whether or not it is compulsory for someone entering care to complete the Permanent Residential Aged Care Request for a Combined Assets and Income Assessment. When it is obvious that the resident’s assets and income exceed the thresholds.  This is not helped by the fact that one page on the myagedcare.gov.au says that it is mandatory and another page says it is not.  Our understanding is that it is not mandatory although we have encountered problems when residents have elected not to have the assessment done.
  • Consumer Directed Care.  Much time and effort has been spent on speaking about more choice for the consumer.  In practice, we are yet to see evidence of increased choice without disproportionate increased cost.
  • The general confusion with the new terminology, especially the overuse of the term ‘RAD’ when referring to Accommodation Payments.  For clarity, Accommodation Payment is the amount to be paid for accommodation (i.e. the old ‘bond’), RAD or Refundable Accommodation Deposit is the amount of Accommodation Payment paid by cash and Daily Accommodation Payment refers to the amount of Accommodation Payment that is to be paid as interest.
  • Accommodation Payments appear to have increased across the board.  Understandably, there needs to be some recompense for the loss of retention amounts and the uncertainty about whether payments will be made by RAD or DAP but it seems to us that a considerable number of places have increased their bonds to at least the maximum of $550,000 where they were not nearly that expensive before.
  • Everyone pays an Accommodation Payment unless you have nominal assets.  This, combined with item 5 above, seems to be a huge windfall for Aged Care Residential Facilities.  Prior to the reforms, more than half of the residents in ACRFs were in high care not paying bonds but paying a daily accommodation charges which was significantly less that a bond in almost all cases. One would have thought that this would mean a decrease in Accommodation Payments.  Not so.
  • The double dipping of the  means tested fee.  By including the Refundable Accommodation Deposit (on which the resident does not earn income) in the means tested daily fee calculation.
  • Lower level home care packages are more expensive that funding care at home privately (see our article on this published on 21 August).
  • The vast majority of Home Care Packages newly released are lower level packages, which combined with item 8 above, is not helping people to remain at home longer.
  • Capping the value of the resident’s home at approximately $155,000 for the purposes of the means tested daily fee calculation.  This makes no sense at all (but it is the one ‘nice’ thing in the reforms).  It does not work for retirement village ownership as the occupant is generally required to liquidate when they leave the village).  Sadly, a lot of people will have no idea about this rule when they decide to sell the resident’s home.

Whilst we have no doubts that all of the confusion will settle, it makes it difficult to act with certainty.  If you have any comments or suggestions, we would love to hear from you.

Until next week

Sara and Margaret

Find out more at www.signpostlms.com.au