One of the hottest topics in planning at the moment is the growth in planning for retirement and additionally, the phase after retirement when the body, mind, or both begin to decline.

Longevity risk – outliving your saved money supporting you – assumes a healthy active retirement. Thankfully, with the Age Pension and social services safety net in Australia, there usually is money available to make ends meet. So many are finding out that a greater concern is how to plan for a less than perfect ending to a good life, where physical or mental deterioration, an accident or isolation means that hard decisions need to be made.

The aged care system is complex, with many different solutions for older people. The toughest choice may be deciding which planner to pair up with inside the industry that knows the options, or skilling up to understand the myriad of offers across government and private care.

For public aged care services there is a new umbrella organisation called My Aged Care, which has been set up to handle the services side such as aged care homes and home services, as well as carers.

My neighbour, Beverley, has been going downhill recently which has led me to find out about how home help services work.

I asked her whether the home help she has is from one of the nursing services and it wasn’t. I called a Care service, concerned with helping her access some gardening and housecleaning. They explained they needed a referral, after Beverley had an Aged Care Assessment (ACAT).  I had a cuppa with Bev and asked if she knew a good doctor and she gave me the name of hers. After a quick phone call to explain the situation, they organised a nurse from My Aged Care to perform the test with Beverley to activate nursing services. The service will help support a person to stay in their home longer and also help with care after a hospital stay or a move to an aged care home.

The website is the place to start ; www.myagedcare.gov.au