Taking Control of Your Future
The seminars that we hold in the Village to share information about transitioning from independent living into community and aged care are always popular and help Residents prepare for their future needs. Recently we have seen an increase in Residents needing care who don’t have the financial and care approval paperwork in place and this has meant long delays in being able to move into the Manor or Lodge. In some cases this has meant that people from outside of the Village have been able to move in ahead of people within the Village community because their paperwork was not ready when needed.
The good news is that the “Cost of Care Forms” – the very long Centrelink Assets and Income Assessment that determines what a person pays towards their accommodation costs and their care costs is changing and the process has been made much simpler. These new forms are expected to be released by the Minister any day now. Centrelink or DVA pensioners who already have their financial assets and income known by the Government will now have one simple form to complete to provide details of their property– in our case, for most residents that will mean providing details of the equity they hold in their Village Unit. Pensioners who do not own their own home, such as renters, will not need to complete a form at all and will be able to just call Centrelink for an assessment to be sent to them. There is a separate, more detailed form for Non-pensioners to complete as Centrelink will not have their financial details on file.
Recent history has shown that the current timeframes from posting the completed form to receiving the final ‘cost of care’ letter from Centrelink are around 6-8 weeks. Although forms are usually only valid for 3 months, it is a simple phone call process to renew them, so we are encouraging Residents who feel that they would like to be well prepared to complete their forms as a kind of “insurance policy” so if and when the need arises, they can just call for an update and this will ensure they will not have any delay for admission into an aged care facility.
As always, I would encourage anyone with assets over $49,500 to get some advice BEFORE completing the forms because it can be beneficial to fall below the asset cut off levels ($49,500 and $168,351) that are used in the formula to determine eligibility for Government support to contribute towards some, or all, of your accommodation costs.
Our Retirement Living Manager, Julia Boyd, and our Village Nurse Team Leader, Judy Alaimo, will both be at the Health Expo in the Clarke Centre on the 16th of July to answer any questions you may have on the process to move into Aged Care.
Please make the time to have these conversations with your families so you are well prepared and supported if your needs change in the future
Kim Jackson, Executive Manager