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  • Writer's pictureThe Life Solutions Team

Older Australians are making care decisions quickly and with limited information

Updated: May 6, 2020

Older man taking photo of sunset

A recent study conducted by McCrindle shows that almost nine in ten Australians aged 50 and above would prefer to live out their days in their own home (87%). Despite these intentions, most older Australians have not given much thought – if any – to the support they will need to remain in their own home. Three in four older Australians (75%) have not taken any steps to ensure they will receive the care they want.

In December the Government declared extra support for older Australians in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), with $552.9 million allocated to aged care funding. The funding includes a focus on improving access to GPs in residential aged care, more support for homelessness and regional and remote services, and an additional 10,000 high-level Home Care Packages.

In a statement released by Dementia Australia, CEO Maree McCabe said that this funding would go some way towards easing the strain on those wishing to stay in their own homes for longer.

“This extra funding will enable more people to live independently for as long as possible, making a substantial difference to many in our community,” Ms McCabe said.

The demand for services and support is high, with the latest home care report showing increasing choice in home-based care for senior Australians, with almost 92,000 now receiving home aged care packages, a record annual growth rate of 29 per cent.

But is the extra funding all that is needed?

The McCrindle study found that more than two in five older Australians have not discussed their future care with anyone (46%) and the largest proportion of those who have, have only discussed it with their family generally, not specifically (37%). A similar proportion have not thought about how they might remain in their own home (42%) and of those who have (58%), only one in five have thought about it a lot (20%).

Three in ten older Australians have been involved in organising care for a parent (30%), but they are making care decisions quickly and with limited information. The process of organising care for a parent is most often triggered by a sudden event causing ill-health or injury (41%), with two in five spending less than one month actively exploring care options (38%).

Australia’s ageing population means it is not just older Australians who need to prepare for their future care needs, but all Australians who need to talk with families, prioritise finances and be informed about which services are available.

If you are approaching retirement age and want to make the most of your assets and stay in your own home for longer then the team at Life Solutions can use their knowledge and experience to facilitate family meetings, provide you with an explanation of your options so you can make an informed decision, and assist you with wealth or entitlement maximisation.

If you are helping a loved one move to a retirement care village or aged care facility then we can help you understand the complex transition and ease the process for you and those you care about.

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