Downsizing made simple

27 December 2019

Rachel Lane from the Aged Care Gurus, with Noel Whittaker, provide great advice if you are considering a move into something which suits you better. Downsizing isn’t about moving into a tiny home – it’s about rightsizing your home for the next chapter in your life.

This time of year is a time when families come together, maybe for the first time since last Christmas, and realise that Mum or Dad or both need some (or a lot of) care and support.

So, if your family gathering turns into a conversation about “what are we going to do with Mum?” here’s my tips for navigating the aged care season.

  1. Talk about it. Conversations about care can be hard. Maintaining good communication and having a “with you” rather than “to you” attitude can make the transition easier for everyone.
  2. Get an ACAT. The first step in accessing a Home Care Package, respite or moving to an aged care facility is to have an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessment. It’s free and easy process but you can be waiting many weeks, sometimes months, at busy times.
  3. Care at Home. There’s a range of home care services, including Commonwealth Home Support Programme, Home Care Packages, DVA services and private care services.
  4. Take a Break. Respite in an aged care facility can give carers a much-needed break. It is also a great way for you to “try before you buy”.
  5. Do the Downsize. Retirement villages and land lease communities are becoming a popular choice for people who need some care because they provide the independence to do what you can for yourself with care and support for things that you can’t (or don’t want to) do.
  6. Research your options. Whether you are considering downsizing to a Retirement Village or Land Lease Community or a move into residential aged care you need to do your research, take a tour, join in an activity or attend an open day.
  7. Pension Changes. If you receive a pension make sure you understand the impact of your move on your pension and other entitlements such as rent assistance and concession cards.
  8. Timing. If you are a member of a couple then timing your move into aged care can make a significant difference to your cost of aged care. Be sure to understand the impact of moving together or separately (even a day apart).
  9. Know the rights and wrongs of granny flats. Family looking after family is not a new concept but such arrangements can have serious implications on your pension, tax, ability to fund care and estate planning.
  10. Have a trusted Attorney. An Enduring Power of Attorney enables a trusted person, rather than a tribunal or a court, to make decisions for you when you can’t. Make sure you have one.
  11. Estate Plan. A good estate plan is more than “just a will” – it considers assets that will be part of the estate and those that won’t and provides a clear document of your wishes.
  12. Get Advice. Crunching all of the numbers can be complex. Advice from a Retirement Living and Aged Care Specialist will ensure you understand the choices available, strategies to make the move affordable and there are no nasty surprises down the track.

Whether you’re moving to a townhouse or apartment in a strata development, considering a granny flat, tiny house or mod pod with family, looking at co-housing with lifelong friends, or making the move to a retirement community, listen to the experts, and make it a successful move.

You can purchase a copy of Downsizing made simple, with complimentary Care Connect bookmark, online here https://agedcaregurus.com.au/buy-a-book.