Posted on Apr 14, 2016
As you reach your senior years, it becomes necessary to make important decisions about your finances, personal care and where to live. At times, the options can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, if you live in Melbourne, you can access excellent services to help you or your loved one navigate the path through senior lifestyle changes. Both government and independent organisations provide information about such matters as choosing senior living facilities, planning finances or meeting legal requirements.
The legal and financial costs of aged care are important considerations. It is also important to understand the different types of care available such as home help, assisted living villages and retirement homes. The Australian state and federal governments have organisations to advise you about these factors.
The best place to start is the Victorian government’s Ageing and aged care website. This explains the different types of senior accommodation, provides tools to help identify the best care for you and outlines programs to ensure healthy ageing.
The Australian government offers extensive information about aged care homes and eligibility on the My Aged Care website. A new tool introduced on April 1st, 2016 allows seniors and their carers to compare the level of care in different facilities using three quality indicators. There is also a list of suggested questions which you may ask at aged care residences.
The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency is mandated by the Australian government to review aged care facilities. The agency compiles reports based on interviews with residents and unannounced inspections. If you would like to know more about a particular home, you can search for reports here.
A number of independent organisations exist to give advice about aged care facilities and financial issues to seniors. They aim to provide the most up-to-date information to senior Victorians.
DPS publishes a guide which outlines the aged care facilities in each state. It now has a companion website which allows you to search for residential aged care homes in Melbourne by suburb. It also indicates which homes currently have vacancies.
The Council on the Ageing (COTA) in Victoria provides an independent advisory service for older Australians in partnership with the state government. Contact them for information about issues such as retirement, housing options, financial problems and community services. They also hold regular seminars about these issues and more. You can phone, email or visit them at their Melbourne office.
National Seniors Australia has an independent, confidential financial information desk for seniors. This advisory service can provide the latest information about government legislation in relation to financial matters such as superannuation, retirement and residential aged care. If you are a member of National Seniors, you can access this service for the cost of a local call.
When making senior lifestyle choices for yourself and your loved one, it is vital that you research carefully and make the right decision for your personal situation. The organisations outlined above will be happy to answer your queries, address your concerns and connect you with other services if necessary.