For younger people, the need for aged care can seem so far away that it’s very easy to put off planning to a later date. And somehow, time goes on and you never quite get around to planning what will happen when you need help looking after yourself.
Of course, thinking about getting old can be a confronting topic, particularly if you suspect that you may have health problems. But it’s going to happen whether you plan for it or not – and it’s going to be a lot easier to deal with if you have a plan. There’s nothing to be gained by burying your head in the sand and refusing to plan for aged care – and everything to lose. Failing to plan your aged care can lead to less-than-ideal situations when the need for aged care is urgent, and you may then have very little control over what happens to you. Plus, it can be significantly more difficult to make good decisions when you’re pushed for time and are unwell, anxious or stressed.
Like anything in life, it’s far better to have a plan in place before you need it. And having your aged care preferences all mapped out has a number of benefits that might make the process easier to get started on.
Financial peace of mind
Finding a way to pay for your aged care, and dispose of your current home or assets, is a big part of aged care planning. Delaying these decisions can cause significant financial issues, or perhaps even prevent you from accessing the aged care you need when you need it. Having a plan in place can give you great financial peace of mind that you’ll be able to manage the financial aspects of a move into aged care easily and without undue stress.
A sense of comfort
Having health issues or diseases can be scary. All too often, a sudden health incident or accident can make the decision about moving into aged care unavoidable, but it can be extremely stressful if you don’t have a plan. It can be very comforting to know that if the worst happens, you have a plan in place to deal with it, and that you won’t be forced into uncomfortable circumstances while waiting for a place to come up in aged care.
A sense of control
When you face the issue of aged care unprepared, it’s easy to quickly lose any control over decisions. If you’re too incapacitated to make decisions about what you want to do, and how, then someone else will have to do it for you. And they may not make the choices you would prefer. Having a plan in place gives you control over what happens, and helps make the whole process easier.
When should you start planning your aged care?
Before you need it. And whenever you’re ready to. Apart from that, it’s really up to you. It sounds simple, but you need to take as much time as you need to establish your preferences and consider your options. A move to aged care doesn’t happen in a hurry, and needs careful planning and financial management. You will have to go through all the correct channels to apply for an aged care place (this handy article outlines the steps you’ll need to take: https://www.finleyregionalcare.com.au/steps-to-enter-an-aged-care-home/), and this process takes time. You may need to examine facilities and choose one that’s a good fit for you, and perhaps put your name on a waiting list. You’ll need to decide what to do with your current home, possessions, assets or perhaps pets. None of this can happen quickly, and without a plan, it may not happen at all.
It’s far wiser to take some time putting your decisions, preferences and plans in place so that your loved ones will know how you want things dealt with when the time comes. So, if that means planning your aged care after you retire, or before, or at the age of 45, that’s great – as long as you have that all-important plan in place.
Have a look at one of the best aged care facilities around – Finley Regional Care – here: https://www.finleyregionalcare.com.au