Frequently Asked Questions
We will always place your loved one first

Aged Care Frequently Asked Questions


Many of us will face the daunting task of arranging care for a relative or friend in their later years, but the thought of placing our loved one into permanent residential care can fill us with dread and guilt.

It is easy to delay the inevitable, which only magnifies and extends the stress.

We were recently asked by McPhails and Associates (Accountants, Auditors, Advisors) to share our observations about the following questions, for the benefit of their clients:

  • Elderly people can be very concerned and fearful of any change to their current situation, especially involving their health, well-being and lifestyle options
  • They prefer to stay in the comfort of their family home for as long as possible
  • They worry about a loss of independence, being regimented, entering an unfamiliar environment, experiencing different activities and meeting new and unfamiliar people
  • They worry about being taken care of properly and treated in a dignified and respectful manner
  • They are concerned about the cost of care and accommodation fees and if they will be forced to sell their cherished family home to pay for the fees
  • Elderly persons often have pre-conceived ideas about aged care based upon past models and approaches to care delivery
  • Mild personality changes (lack of confidence, forgetful or vague, repetitive conversations)
  • Poor nutrition, out-of-date food in the fridge, loss of appetite, changes in weight
  • Problems with bill paying and house maintenance
  • Not attending to activities of daily living (cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene)
  • Medication mis-management (not taking or taking too many medications)
  • Diagnosis of serious and advanced health conditions
  • Advanced dementia – including aggressive behaviour or wandering
  • In general, being under any form of risk to their health and well-being
  • Quality and experienced care staff is paramount
  • The Director of Care should be firm and have laid the ground rules for a professional and caring aged care home
  • Appropriate ratio of staff members to resident; daytime, evening and weekends
  • Quality and range of food is an important consideration to many residents
  • Lifestyle activities should be frequent and diversified and individually tailored to each resident
  • Large private rooms with ensuites, bright community areas
  • Well maintained garden settings with opportunity to walk in a safe and secure manner
  • Affordable fees and charges
  • The approach taken by the aged care providers should be directed towards quality care programs (Not-for-profit versus Profit-based provider)
  • Talk to an experienced specialist to get the up-to-date and accurate information
  • There are consumer driven review websites that consumers can access
  • Pick a quiet moment, with no distractions, to have early discussions about how they are coping and the need to plan for the future
  • Always be patient and respectful, but mindful that they need to find extra care
  • Always have the discussion face-to-face, never by telephone or email – the tone and intent can be misinterpreted if not face-to-face
  • Listen to their viewpoint and perspective and re-inforce that you have understood their thoughts, wishes and concerns
  • Explain that it is not easy for yourself as well – and your objective is simply to make them as safe and risk-free as possible
  • Involve them in the process, research, facility visits and decision making as much as practicable.
  • Start the discussions early in the process to avoid the “limited time” approach.
  • In some circumstances, if an elderly person is under significant risk or needs urgent help and they are resistant, consider seeking the support of their Pyschogeriatrician, GP, social worker, case manager or experienced placement consultant.
  • Do not beat yourself up – be aware that facing the task you are facing, of discussing aged care and placing a loved one into care, can be very distressing to the supportive family member – very few people find it easy.
  • Share the load – have other supportive family members by your side
  • Start the process early – avoid the “limited time to get it right” syndrome
  • The Commonwealth is continuing to implement major changes to aged care in Australia – it pays to stay updated with those changes
  • The My Aged Care website www.myagedcare.gov.au is the central online gateway and resource to access and learn about the aged care system.
  • A placement agency like Aged Care Connect has the local knowledge, experience and industry contacts to make the task easier
  • Across all Australia, there are 263,788 residents in 2800 Commonwealth regulated aged care homes
  • Nearly 7 out of 10 (69%) of residents are women
  • Average age of female residents is 86 – average aged of male residents is 81
  • The average length of stay in a Commonwealth regulated aged care home is a little under 2 years (~700 days)
  • Get the research and planning done as early as possible – to avoid being rushed into an uninformed decision, or having to take an option because it is the only one available at the time
  • Share the activities and emotional load with supportive family members and experienced service providers
  • If you would like to discuss your family requirements and the local aged care options contact the friendly Liz or Ron at 1300 884 850