How to talk about aged care

Tips to help you talk  about aged care and the future

  • Take the time to understand the preferences of your loved one as early as possible. This will be particularly important if there is a sudden, life-changing event which will require decisions about care and future living arrangements.
  • Respectfully approach a discussion with them as a family (or friends), and speak to them as partners to understand how they see their future.
  • Offer options, rather than advice, on how they see themselves living in their own home independently for as long as possible.
  • You may want to discuss who will make financial and medical decisions on their behalf, should the need arise.
  • Discuss the experience of a relative or a friend.
  • Offer to help find out more information or suggest they seek the views of someone they trust, such as their doctor or financial adviser.
  • Choose a time and place that is appropriate for the conversation and pick somewhere that they feel comfortable.

Remember, it is only the beginning of a conversation that will continue over time as you and your loved one gather information and establish the next best step.

Conversation starters

  • “When I get older I will want to stay in my own house for as long as possible. Have you ever thought about what you would like to do? 
  • “Did you know that you can get help managing things at home such as taking out the rubbish bins, hanging up the washing and looking after the garden? “
  • “There has been a lot of changes to the way aged care is funded and there is now more choices for home assistance.”
  • “Have you thought about getting some help to do home maintenance such as cleaning the gutters and fixing the the fence.”
  • “You can get help to organise those things.