There’s no doubt that making the move to an Aged Care Residence can be a difficult decision, especially if it happens suddenly, due to changes in circumstances or a decline in health.
Whether you’re looking at options for yourself or your loved one, having a clear understanding of what to expect in Aged Care will give you confidence in your decision and make it much easier to find the right fit.
However, finding accurate and helpful information can prove challenging when it comes to Aged Care as there remain some common misconceptions.
So to help you identify and debunk three of the most common myths, we’ve put together a short explainer article on the myths versus facts.
Myth 1: ‘An Aged Care Residence is like a hospital’
Although Aged Care Residences deliver nursing care to their residents, much attention is taken to avoid a sterile hospital feel. At TriCare, we take pride in our beautiful accommodation, which provides a comfortable, warm environment, so our residents feel relaxed and at home.
Our Classic Rooms are tastefully furnished and include everything needed to enjoy your own private space, while our Premium Rooms are larger and feature hotel-style decor and furnishings. All residents have access to our shared spaces and activities, which adds a strong sense of community and connection that allows for friendships and fun. We also encourage our residents to bring personal items, such as photos and other keepsakes, to make their space their own.
Myth 2: ‘Living in a Quality Aged Care Residence is not affordable’
The amount that you will pay for Aged Care depends on your individual financial circumstances and the type of accommodation and services you choose. In Australia, the system has been designed to make Aged Care accessible to everyone. There are four possible fees you may be required to pay:
1) Care (set by the Commonwealth Government) which includes:
- Basic Daily Fee that covers basic living costs like meals, cleaning, laundry, heating and cooling. The Government sets this at 85% of the single person rate of the Age Pension and everyone is required to pay this.
- Means-Tested Fee is an additional contribution to cost of care based on an income and asset assessment. The Department of Human Services will decide if additional Means-Tested Care Fees apply.
2) Accommodation (set by the provider):
- This fee covers the cost of accommodation, including your room, bathroom facilities and communal areas.
- The amount charged will depend on your choice of accommodation and will be charged as a RAD (lump sum), DAP (daily charge) or a combination of the two.
3) Additional and/or extra services (set by Government and provider):
- This fee covers the cost of things like a higher standard of room features, entertainment equipment, food services such as alcohol and additional menu options, and subscriptions to magazines, newspapers and TV channels.
The first step to finding out how much you will pay is to check your eligibility for subsidised Aged Care. You can apply online, contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422, or call TriCare’s Aged Care specialists on 1300 874 2273 to discuss your circumstances.
Myth 3: ‘You will lose your freedom and independence if you move to Aged Care’
One of the biggest benefits of moving to Aged Care is the level of care available 24 hours a day. However, in delivering our care and support services, we also encourage our residents to remain as independent as possible by completing tasks and activities that suit their level of ability. Providing this level of independence promotes a sense of pride and wellbeing that is beneficial to positive mental health.
Residents who do not have specific care needs in place to ensure their safety have the freedom to choose how they spend their day, enjoying quiet time or mingling in the communal facilities and taking part in activities as they wish. Family and friends are also welcome to visit and participate in daily activities too.
Always look beyond the myths
When considering your Aged Care options, debunking the myths first is a must. That way, you have accurate information along with the details you need to make an informed choice on the best option for you.