Whether we like it or not, most of us will, at some stage, reach a point in our lives where we require Aged Care Support. This new phase of living can be perceived as the “beginning of the end”, as a checkpoint that marks a transition into a less fulfilling way of life. As such, some people may be inclined to delay their introduction into the Aged Care System for as long as they can, for fear of what it may represent. However, delays will only make things more difficult down the line. In reality, the key is to get into the Aged Care System sooner rather than later.
Aged Care should be seen as a new stage of life. In many ways, this new stage can be reinvigorating, allowing you access to more aspects of life instead of being restrictive. For example, say you or a loved one such as a parent, takes great pleasure in tending to their garden, but have reached an age where they find it more difficult to do so on a regular basis. They could be eligible for a basic, in-home care package, with access to a support worker who could assist them in their gardening tasks. They could also receive help with simple around the house chores such as cooking and cleaning, which would allow more time and energy to do the things that bring them joy.
The beauty of getting into the Aged Care System when you need only a small amount of assistance is that once you’re in, you’re in. It is easier to access higher levels of support if you are already part of the system, even if you are at the lowest level. If you delay support till the point of urgency, when you require immediate and substantial help, then it is much more difficult to get the right care at the right time. It is easier to progress from the ground up rather than skip straight to the top floor.
Earlier support with activities like gardening or showering, where injuries can occur, can be the best form of prevention. It also means that you also get to have more of a say in what sort of support you want. Oftentimes, these decisions are left up to your loved ones rather than up to you, and they are made under intense pressure. When left too late, you do not have the luxury to take your time and properly assess all available options.
So, at the very least, you should start researching the Aged Care System before you feel it is even necessary in order to give yourself the best chance to live out your later years to your fullest capacity.