Considering Residential Aged Care for a Loved One?
Why Not Try Before You Buy?
The decision to move a loved one into permanent care is often confronting and filled with mixed emotions, but according to industry experts, it doesn’t have to be.
Leading aged care provider TriCare offers families considering aged care for a loved one the opportunity to experience the service before making a long-term commitment.
“I guess you could call it an opportunity to ‘try before you buy’,” said TriCare Sales Manager, Kathlyn Xavier, adding that it can be beneficial for both the person in need of care and their family and friends.
“Respite care is ideal for those who may be unsure about entering permanent residential care; those wanting to see how they adjust to the residence, staff and location; and those with misconceptions about what life in an aged care residence is like.”
Centenarian Mary Micallef’s family know the process all too well and have had their ups and downs with their aged care ‘journey of self-discovery’.
Five years after Mary moved into a retirement village following the death of her husband, it became clear that she, the then 83-year-old, needed additional support as she could no longer prepare her own meals. Her family moved her into a serviced apartment, but as time went on, Mary deteriorated further, and she needed more help with daily tasks.
“Over time it was decided that mum would spend two weeks of respite in various nursing homes that were being considered and for her to decide on her choice of homes,” Mary’s daughter, Melita Proebstl explained.
“Over a period of years, Mum had two-week respite stays at various aged care facilities, unfortunately, it was not a good experience for any of us”, said Melita.
According to Melita, her mum didn’t last the full two weeks in any of them, until they found TriCare Williams Landing Aged Care Residence.
“What a relief it was, within three days of what was to be another two weeks respite, it was clear to Mum and to all of us we had finally found the perfect place for Mum to spend her twilight years,” Melita said.
For 83-year-old Martin Taylor, the opportunity to try a residence before making one of the biggest decisions of his life was a game-changer.
“Dad absolutely loved his respite stay and has since moved in full-time,” Martin’s son, Danny explained.
“From the moment he moved in, we noticed a positive change in his outlook and health—the staff have been absolutely fantastic and so considerate of his needs”, Danny added.
Respite care is not always sought out by those with a permanent placement in mind. In fact, it is often utilised to provide carers with a much-needed break to rest and recharge, for planned holidays, or in the case of an unexpected hiatus of the carer due to a family emergency, injury, or illness.
It is often covered by a home care package or the Commonwealth funding for respite services available to eligible persons for up to 63 days per financial year.
“We would encourage anyone, whether they just need a break, or have a family member who is considering permanent residential care but wants to see if they like, to reach out and get more information,” Ms Xavier added.
- For most seniors with existing care needs, an assessment by the Australian Government’s Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) is likely to have already been completed, which makes the next step as simple as reaching out to a chosen residential aged care provider, providing your ACAT results, and checking availability for a respite stay.
- Your provider will also be able to let you know your current balance of any subsidised respite days you are eligible to utilise for the intended respite stay.