Plan ahead to get the support you need for your ageing parent

Aged Care Financial Advice


Plan ahead to get the support you need for your ageing parent

If you are in your 40’s or 50’s there is a good chance you could be part of the ‘sandwich generation’.

The sandwich generation refers to adults ‘sandwiched’ between dependent children of their own and ageing parents with growing dependence on them for assistance. If this applies you will know that while there are many things to be grateful for it can also be a difficult time and leave you feeling torn, tired and stressed out!

When it comes to ageing parents, it can be difficult to initiate a conversation about the impact getting older can have on independence, but it’s important to have these conversations early so you can put in place a plan for support when and if needed. Age related issues can happen suddenly, causing a once independent self-sufficient person to quickly become dependent and in need of support. If this happens, you will be glad you have a plan so you know what to do.

Getting support

As people age, support is often provided informally by family, friends or neighbours to do some of the things that become more difficult such as lawn mowing, arranging and attending appointments, grocery shopping and preparing meals. Depending upon your situation, providing this type of support to a loved one may be achievable now, but it’s important to realise that support needs are most likely to increase. If this happens, will you still be able to cope?

Arranging outside support urgently can be difficult, but the good news is there are many government subsidised programs for in-home care that can be accessed before an urgent need for support arises.

My Aged Care is a Commonwealth Government initiative that provides eligible people with various levels of aged care support.

Basic services such as cleaning, meal provision, gardening and shopping can be provided through the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) administered by many local councils. Where a large number of services are required the Home Care Package (HCP) program may be better suited.

There are four levels of home care packages, starting at level 1 for basic care needs and increasing to level 4 for high care needs. Each level attracts a different subsidy with funding allocated monthly. It is entirely up to the recipient to use the money for whatever support they want – they are in control.

Registering for My Aged Care

Before you register for My Aged Care make sure you have carefully thought through your loved one’s situation and needs. Write a list of all the things you or others are currently doing to provide support and any additional things that are either required now or likely to be needed in the near future. This is important, as if you don't provide clear and specific information to the call centre staff at My Aged Care you will likely be referred to the wrong assessment team and your loved one could miss out on the full range of services on offer from My Aged Care.

Once you have thought carefully about your loved ones needs and are prepared, the next step is to register for My Aged Care. Once you register, you begin the process of being screened and assessed in order to gain approval for support programs for ageing people.

As the initial screening and assessment process can take several months, it’s a good idea to register before an urgent need arises. Once the assessments have been undertaken, any support needs down the track are more likely to happen quickly and efficiently.

Bear in mind that this first phone call is a high level screening assessment using a generic questionnaire. The facilitator is not an expert in aged care and will not be able to answer specific questions about your loved one’s situation, nor will they be able to ‘read between the lines’ or make inferences from what you are saying. For this reason, the information you provide is critical to getting the best outcome, so you are allocated the right team to undertake a more detailed and personal assessment.

Once your assessment has been completed, you will be approved for the most appropriate level of home care support. This now puts you on the waiting list for that particular support service. The wait may vary from weeks to months depending upon availability.

If in the meantime the need for urgent support arises, you can escalate your case by requesting a Support Plan Review. This will alert the assessment teams to your situation and help to secure support sooner.

We can help

Of course, accessing in-home support is only one of the many things that need to be considered as people age. If you need help and would like to talk to an expert in navigating the aged care system, in particular the financial implications of different options, please contact Luke Andrews on

This information is general in nature and is provided by Partners Wealth Group. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information.