Growing older presents facing up to the possibility of finding comfort and security for our later years. Many people resist the move to designated retirement villages and have a horror of nursing homes. this is what I have discovered over the last couple of years as I made that choice.
It is better to choose your own path rather than wait for intervention that might be forced upon you through well meaning relatives because of some illness or other unexpected crisis.
You will need to take into consideration affordability and the resources you have available.
There are 4 stages to end of life care:
- Present: Independent Housing- doing your own shopping, finding social contacts, entertainment etc. with occasional visits to health professionals.
- Requiring Assistance: Help with shopping, transport, domestic and gardening. Visits from helpers, (nurses, cleaners etc.)Modifications to housing (wheelchair access, grab rails in bathroom etc.)
- Frail aged: Hostel, Carer, Meals on Wheels, walking frame.
- Hospice, palliative care, hospital.
We need to maintain our independence as long as possible but it is good to know that, when the time comes, help is available but it is necessary to plan in advance. There is a whole new world to navigate and it is tricky.
The first thing needed is to get an ACATassessment from My Aged Care. Nothing to be concerned about, ring 1800200422 and a person will visit you and fill in all the details for a Care Package. You will then need to choose a Care Providor, there are many available and it is wise to be familiar with all each one offers and what the charges are likely to be. It is worth knowing that there is a long waiting list so do not delay, you may be managing well enough now, but during the waiting time it is possible that your health may deteriate and then you are left without assistance.