As we get older, living independently may no longer be viable or desirable. Health and medical concerns, mobility issues, the loss of a partner or the desire to downsize are just some of the reasons to start considering the move to aged care.
Moving into an aged care facility can offer a range of benefits including onsite health and medical support, mobility assistance and being part of an active community. However, making the move to aged care is a big decision and there’s a lot to consider. And while sometimes it’s the desired option, other times the decision may be made reluctantly.
Whatever the reasons for the move, there are a number of things you need to consider when making the move to aged care.
Think about Finances
Before you start applying to various aged care residences, it’s essential to look into the costs associated with relocating into an aged-care facility. You will need to determine what portion of the costs will be met by the government and what you will have to pay. Visit the My Aged Care website to get a better understanding of the costs involved.
Choose a Facility
When deciding on the right aged care facility, you need to consider a range of factors including your financial situation and the level of care required. You should take the time to work out exactly what you want from an aged care provider before you start applying to different residences.
Some factors you should consider include:
- What the accommodation is like
- What types of care, services and activities they offer
- How they can best meet your individual needs
- Fees for care and services
- Accommodation prices
- Rules for visitors
- Location and convenience for family members
- Meal arrangements
- What levels of privacy are available
- The facility’s accreditation and reviews and recommendations
- Onsite security
Once you’ve found a home you like, take the time to talk to them to ensure they can meet all your requirements before you apply for a place.
Spend time in the Facility
Once you’ve secured a place in your home of choice, you need to start preparing for the relocation. But before the move, it’s worth visiting the facility and spending some time there. Get to know the layout and spend time with the residents and carers. Talking to other residents is the best way to find out what to expect when it comes to settling in and adjusting to your new home.
You should also spend some time talking to the carers and other staff. Discuss strategies that have helped other residents settle in and manage common issues. Now’s the time to ask questions to help you prepare for the move.
Speak with your Family
Relocating to aged care can be an emotional and difficult time, not just for the person moving but also for family and friends. It’s important to find the time to have an open and frank conversation with your family. You should have a chance to voice your concerns and reservations and ask for the help you need. It’s also important to give your family members an open forum to discuss their concerns. This is also the time to find out who will be providing support and helping to manage the move.
You should also find out what’s happening with the home you’re moving out of. Who’s handling the move, the cleaning and the sale or lease of the property? Will a family be dealing with the property? Quality deceased estate companies generally provide aged care relocation services and can handle all aspects of the move and preparation of the old property.
Who to Notify
Once you have secured a place and you’re ready to move, there are a number of people and organisations you need to notify. Besides friends and family, you should also notify:
- Your doctor and other healthcare professionals
- Home support providers such as meal providers, cleaners, gardners, home help providers etc.
- Lawyers and any other legal support providers
- Financial and insurance providers like your bank, insurance companies and superannuation provider
- Government departments like Medicare, ATO, AEC, roads and transport authority etc.
- Utility providers and any other billers
Work out what to take with you
For most aged care facilities there will be limits to how much you can bring with you. Find out if your room is already furnished or how much furniture you can bring with you. Consider which pieces of furniture are most important to you and which are most necessary.
Besides furniture, you should also determine which are the most important personal possessions you want to take with you. It may be photos, music, books or anything else that’s personally valuable. Surrounding yourself with personal and meaningful possessions will help to make the new place feel more like home.
Ultimately, moving to an aged care facility is about improving your quality of life, care and support. And while any move can be challenging and a bit intimidating, by asking the right questions and making sure you have the right support, you can ensure it goes smoothly.