Most aged care plans are made in a hospital car park – why planning ahead paves the way for positive ageing.

In this Interview we ask our Client Engagement Team about the importance of planning ahead for positive ageing, and why so often, people wait for a crisis to happen and put themselves in a position where they limit their choices for the right care.

Can you share an example of what happens when people leave their healthcare plans till the last minute?

If you are admitted to hospital but need post-hospital care, and you don’t have family around you to support you, you may up in a nursing home or hospital while your health improves. This may not be forever, but you could have gone home with home care support if you had planned in advance. People prefer to be in the comfort of their own home and recuperate faster this way.

One of our clients, Alice told us her story of how she learned about home care – what she calls “the hard way”. She would walk past our offices daily and always tell herself that she must pop in and start enquiring about home care plans. However, time got away and she didn’t get around to it. She became very sick and after some time in hospital, she went home but struggled to care for herself, causing more problems and taking many months to recover. Fortunately when Alice got hoe she did call St Louis Home Care.

Alice has now registered with My Aged Care, had an assessment and has Home Care Package funding. The advice Alice has for any older person wanting to live at home is “If you have noticed changes and you can’t do what you used to do, or finding things more difficult, it is time to get some support at home. The staff are all trained and once you know your team of care workers its really lovely having them in your home for support and conversation. It has made my days a lot brighter, and I feel safer and more independent in my own home.”

Why do people not plan ahead for their aged care - how easy/difficult is the process?

“We are so busy doing what we need to do today that we do not think about tomorrow enough. As Ita Buttrose puts it, an iconic Australian who is a role model for positive ageing, “Planning is the key to growing older successfully.”

Have a good serious look at your whole life and have a plan B.

People fear that if they think that the worse is going to happen then it will, but experience has shown us that planning ahead and having a Plan B for your healthcare as you get older is smart.

Confidence and peace of mind goes a long-long way, it will ease the anxiety of getting older and enable you to live peacefully, staying at home longer knowing that help is only a phone call away.

Advanced care directives operate in the same way, so do wills. We prepare these to minimise unnecessary stress and anxiety when it could be avoided.

Being pro-active means, you take more responsibility and maintain your independence, it makes you feel empowered and happier that you have guaranteed your independence because you have a plan in place.”

What can you recommend people do to begin planning ahead for their aged care?

  • Started having the conversation with yourself first.
  • Start investigating how you will be able to afford care as you get older.
  • Find out what support is available from the government to help you.
  • Call an aged care provider like St Louis where you can have some of the confusing aged care concepts explained in simple language.
  • Inform yourself as much as possible, information can be powerful and can give you choice and with home care , independence for longer.
  • Register with My Aged Care and a find a home care provider you can trust and work with.

    What is the most important tip that you want to share with people in planning ahead for positive ageing?

    “The best advice we give to people is to take the anxiety out of getting older by being pro-active and relax into your golden years and enjoy them!

    Anxiety steps in when people do not plan or find out the options and choices, they have for support to stay in their own home as they get older. The moment they become informed, their anxiety and worry go away.

    Sometimes decisions take longer when you get older because you may have lost a bit of confidence and want time to make sure you are making the right decision for you. It is good to be proactive about your healthcare planning. You can start to look after yourself and keep yourself physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. To stay independent, you need to seek out the support you want as you get older. Planning gives you greater choice about how you will live in your own home for longer.

    If you need support at home for independence and safety or in hospital car park planning support for a loved one , please call St Louis Home Care.

    We can help navigate the options for care and support. Call us today, Adelaide 08 8332 0950 or Victor Harbor 08 8552 1481.

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