Deciding to move into aged care is a big choice, and one that shouldn’t be made lightly. But like any big decision, it’s best made once you have all the information. You may have a number of concerns about aged care living that could prove to be unfounded – let’s look at some of the most common.
I’m an introvert and like my privacy
This is a big concern for many people, as they prefer not having people around them all the time and to have their own space. But the great thing about aged care communities is that they facilitate freedom and choice. If you don’t want to socialise with the people around you, then you don’t have to. You’re free to socialise when and with whom you choose – or not at all if that’s what you prefer. For many people, the opportunity to be more social is one of the drawcards for aged care living, but if this is not you, that’s okay too. You’re still free to live your life on your own terms in an aged care community, and no one makes decisions for you.
I don’t like the institutional feel of aged care
Aged care communities these days are designed to feel less like an institution and more like a home. For instance, here at Finley Regional Care we provide an engaging and stimulating environment for our residents that helps create the feel of modern, homely living. We utilise an innovatively designed space that mimics the main street of Finley, with a shop, cinema, café and hairdresser for our residents to access.
As well, you are free to decorate your room as you wish, and to bring your own décor and soft furnishings to really make your room feel comfortable, familiar and homey.
I like participating in my own hobbies, not group activities
That’s fine, as mentioned above, you’re free to choose your level of participation within the community. If you’d rather take part in your own hobbies/exercise/activities, you’re more than welcome to do so. There’s no compulsion to join in with any type of group activity or event – the choice is entirely up to you.
I want to keep seeing my own doctor
While aged care facilities have nurses on site to help with your care needs, you’re still free to see any doctor you wish. Many people have built up a relationship with their doctor and wish to continue with that person, and we can help arrange transport to and from your doctor’s appointments if necessary. Alternatively, the facility may be able to arrange for the doctor to come and visit you.
I don’t need a lot of help
People enter aged care for all different kinds of reasons, and it may be that you don’t need a lot of help, or just need help with specific tasks. After you’ve moved in, staff at the facility will sit down with you and develop your care plan. This plan outlines just what care needs you have and how the facility can meet them. Any tasks that you can and want to do alone, you’re free to continue to do, as long as you’re safe.
I don’t have a lot of money
There are fees that apply to aged care, but the Australian Government will provide financial support depending on your income and assets. You’ll need to undergo an income and assets assessment to determine your eligibility for government assistance first, however. With this government support, you may only have to pay part of your accommodation costs, rather than the full cost of your accommodation.
If you really can’t afford to pay for the cost of aged care, you can access financial hardship assistance from the Australian Government to pay some or all of your fees and costs. Click here to find out what financial hardship assistance is available.
And click here to discover more about what happens if you can’t afford to pay for aged care.
I like gardening
While one of the benefits of aged care communities is the fact that household and garden maintenance is done for you, if you really like gardening, there’s always options. Many communities are fine with residents adding their own individual touches to gardens, or assisting the gardener in some way if they would like to. If that’s not possible, you could always create an indoor garden, or bring some pot plants along. You could even take cuttings of your favourite plants from your old garden and grow them in pots in your room to maintain that connection with your old life.