The potential need for aged care can be a difficult and emotionally loaded conversation for family members. Many parents and their adult children avoid talking about it until they have no choice, by which time it is often too late for any effective planning.
Involving the family
Working out what care option is most appropriate as you get older may be best solved through a family decision.
To avoid any indecision or conflict, it is important in advance to have a family meeting and talk to your children and their partners as well as other close family members.
Having open discussions with the family members can help children to know what you want and may help to minimise disputes among the family.
Topics to address in a family discussion:
What is important when making a decision about where to live
Who should be responsible for making decisions – about finances and/or medical/lifestyle requirements
How the estate will be distributed and why
Where copies of all important paperwork is kept – including the will, bank account details and copies of insurance policies
What should happen with the home if the person can no longer live there
Remember that by the time you may need to move into aged care, it is probably your children/support network who will need to make the arrangements and the decisions.
Nominating a representative for My Aged Care
People who require age care support are able to nominate a representative or give consent to a carer or family member to speak to My Aged Care and act on their behalf.
Becoming a representative
There are two types of representatives that a client can nominate, a regular representative and an authorised representative.
A regular representative can be nominated when providing consent to allow someone to speak and act on your behalf whereas an authorised representative must be given if you unable to give consent.
If a representative is no longer required, the client or the representative can call My Aged Care to cancel the representation.
The benefits of nominating a representative allows you to:
Give information to My Aged Care (including to assessors), the My Aged Care contact centre and service providers
Make decisions about aged care assessment and referrals for aged care services
View and update aged care and personal information through the contact centre or on the My Aged Care client record on myGov, and
Be listed as the primary contact for My Aged Care.
Also, having a representative will also improve access to information for Health Professionals to enable them to continue to work with My Aged Care assessors.
This will help support clients through their aged care journey and will allow them to receive the assessments and aged care services they need.