Family Stories

Family Stories about Aged Care Placement

The following are based on family stories from clients that we have helped.

Sheila: Dementia-Specific

Suzanne contacted Senior Moves because her mother, Sheila, had been diagnosed with dementia and her father, Terence, was no longer able to care for Sheila as he was becoming increasingly frail.

Sheila had been assessed as eligible for dementia-specific high-level care. The recent times had been very challenging for the family and they were looking for appropriate solutions to a very stressful time.

Suzanne is a busy professional who lives interstate. Her brothers and sisters were also busy professionals. They all wanted to find the very best accommodation and care, and wanted some support. This was a very difficult time for the family who had to come to terms with a major task in their lives.

Suzanne contacted Liz, the Manager at Senior Moves, and they talked about the situation. Suzanne had some nursing homes in mind that she wanted Liz's team to report on and also asked for Liz's thoughts based on her knowledge and experience of Residential Care. After speaking with Liz and checking with her siblings, Suzanne engaged Senior Moves to prepare a Shortlist Report.

Liz immediately got to work and ruled out homes that currently or in the past have provided sub-standard care or have unsuitable buildings. Liz then ruled out homes that do not provide dementia specific care.

With the homes left, Liz went through a short-listing process identifying those that best meet Sheila's needs and preferences based on what Suzanne had told her.

Senior Moves has built up a valuable database about Residential Care homes with information from a range of reputable sources. The Senior Moves database is not based upon any advertising model and contains minimal marketing hyperbole. The Senior Moves database is simply based upon quality research and valuable feedback and comments provided by our past family clients who have been residents at the homes.

By referring to the database and getting in contact with some of the Residential Care homes, Liz was able to identify some Residential Care homes to recommend that met all of Sheila's needs and preferences.

In the shortlist, Liz provided information about the owners of the homes (whether for-profit or not-for-profit; their reputation and experience; and their history of compliance), the accommodation at the home, the care provided at the home, the lifestyle services provided at the home, the aged care fees, and the current availability and waiting list situation.

Suzanne and her siblings had already looked at one of the homes Liz recommended and the information in the Report reassured them they were on the right track and helped with their decision-making.

They eventually accepted a place in that recommended home for Sheila.

Duncan: RAD Negotiation

Simon's Father, Duncan, had recently moved into a new Aged Care home. The family were quite happy with the home and the services provided.

Duncan is a self-funded retiree, having successfully started and managed a business in the past, and being a Scot - very canny with his investments had amassed an impressive list of assets and income streams over the years.

The financial manager at the Aged Care home was requesting a significant RAD ($950,000), which was initially and loosely based on the assumption that there was a capacity to pay.

Simon (EPOA) asked Ron from Senior Moves to describe all of the aspects of the RAD, and to provide an understanding of what the median RADs in the local area are, what other residents have been paying to enter the same or similar facilities and why his much loved Father, Duncan, seemed to be unfairly targeted to pay this large RAD amount.

Ron explained all of this to Simon, and gave valuable insights into "RAD 101".

Most importantly, Ron explained that he could help with arranging Duncan's RAD - Simon engaged Ron to help.

Ron contacted the home and, through negotiation was able to place Duncan as a permanent resident at the home but paying a "reduced" RAD of $750,000.

While the aged care home would have preferred the higher RAD amount, they were still agreeable to this negotiated amount.

Simon was understandably pleased with the result (so was the canny Duncan), and Simon has since referred one of his business colleagues to Ron to help them as well.

Henry and Margaret: Interstate Placement

Karen contacted Senior Moves for support with Residential Care placement for her father and step-mother (Henry and Margaret) that lived in their own house in a retirement village in South East Queensland. Her stepmother was being cared for by her father.

Unfortunately, her father's health had been declining, which meant that both her father and stepmother needed more help with the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) - personal hygiene, cooking, cleaning the house among other things.

Karen had undertaken the research a few years earlier to help her father and step-mother find a suitable retirement village and she suspected it would be just as difficult to find a suitable Residential Care home for them to live in. Karen is a busy professional and wanted to save herself some time and effort. She was interested in booking a Residential Care Consultation to help her understand the Residential Care system.

Karen had organised to fly to Queensland to visit her father and stepmother the coming weekend. Liz from Senior Moves was able to accommodate Karen's request for an urgent Residential Care Consultation.

Liz met Karen at her house a few days later in the early evening and they were joined by Karen's sister. Over the next hour and a half, Liz explained what is available in Residential Care (accommodation types, care and services), what the fees are for Residential Care, and what steps need to take to find and secure placement in a Residential Care home.

Liz provided Karen with an information package so that she felt free to absorb information during the meeting rather than spending time writing notes. Karen and her sister had some questions, which Liz was able to answer for them.

Karen and her sister thanked Liz for the information and said they now understand what the options are for Henry and Margaret.

Karen had all the information she needed to be able to initiate a conversation that weekend with her father and stepmother about the need to consider moving to a Residential Care home.

Ray: Placement from hospital

John contacted Senior Moves as his father-in-law, Ray, was in a rehabilitation hospital and would shortly need to move to a Residential Care home. Ray is a 93-year-old gentleman who had been living alone since his wife passed away about 12 months prior. Ray had a fall at home and fractured his hip. After a period of rehabilitation, Ray was assessed as needing permanent residential care and accommodation.

John asked Ron from Senior Moves to phone Ray and make a time to meet him. Initially, Ray thought the meeting could wait a couple of weeks and declined to make an appointment. Ray called Ron back a few days later on a Thursday quite distressed as the hospital staff told him he needed to leave sooner rather than later.

Ron met with Ray's family that Saturday morning at the hospital coffee shop and then at Ray's bed, with some of his family members in attendance.

Ray engaged Senior Moves to provide a Residential Care placement package assisting with all aspects of placement.

During the meeting, Ron explained the fees in Residential Care homes and talked about what Ray could expect a Residential Care home to be like.

Ron also found out about Ray's needs and preferences to help find a Residential Care home that would be suitable for him and meet his expectations. Ray was very clear that he wanted the Residential Care home to be close to a particular daughter and son-in-law; that he wanted "a nice standard of accommodation" and he wanted to find a placement quickly.

After the meeting, Ron returned to the Senior Moves office and undertook a search in the database. He came up with a shortlist of five homes with modern accommodation, including single room with ensuite, and contacted them to find out about current vacancies. Three of the homes had vacancies and would be willing to meet with Ray and consider offering him a room.

Ron prepared a report with her recommendations and delivered it to Ray on the Tuesday after the meeting. Ray discussed the report with family members and then contacted Ron to say he wanted to visit one of the homes in particular.

Ron contacted the director of nursing (DON) of that home and arranged a time to visit on a Friday. The DON met Ray and John at the home and helped them feel comfortable looking around and asking questions.

The DON had worked with Senior Moves in the past, and was pleased because the DON knew that the family had already been informed by a third party about the homes services, fees and good reputation; which made the process easier for the DON.

At the residential care home, Ron met privately with Ray who said he wanted to take the room.

Ron then spoke with the DON and brought the two together to finalise the RAD negotiations.

Ray was offered the room that day and moved in the following Monday.

In the intervening time, Ron made sure that the home's entry paperwork for Ray was correctly completed and submitted to the home so that all the information was there when he arrived.

As a direct result of John getting in touch with Senior Moves, it was possible to arrange a placement for Ray within a very short timeframe. This meant that Ray and his family did not have to experience ongoing pressure from the hospital to vacate the room.

Having Ron from Senior Moves involved also meant Ray did not have to rely as heavily on his family members and this made him feel more independent.

Giuliana: Culturally Specific

Tony rang Senior Moves for support as his mother, Giuliana, urgently needed placement in a nursing home.

Giuliana had been recently admitted to the hospital and needed permanent residential care placement.

As Giuliana was medically stable, the hospital wanted her to leave. The hospital was not able to help Tony find a placement for his mother as Tony wanted to move her outside of the hospital's catchment area to be closer to him.

Liz from Senior Moves spoke with Tony on the phone to find out about Giuliani's situation - her care needs and preferences - and to get some information about the preferred area for placement. Tony explained that Giuliana spoke Italian only and he wanted to find a nursing home with Italian speaking staff and a higher number of residents with a similar cultural background to his Mother.

Tony had already contacted the two Italian specific nursing homes and they did not have vacancies. Tony said that the hospital was putting a great deal of pressure on him to move his mother out of the hospital so the need for placement was urgent. Liz asked Tony to provide a copy of the ACAT approval forms and he did so on Thursday. By Friday Liz had a shortlist of homes that met the criteria Tony had spoken about.

By Monday morning Liz had identified that two of those homes had vacancies and would be willing to offer placement to Giuliana. Liz contacted Tony who went and visited the two homes. After visiting the homes Tony had a further discussion with Liz on the phone and he decided to take one of the placements. Giuliana moved in on Tuesday.

Senior Moves can help people to find an Residential Care placement urgently.

Aged Care Placement Guide

Residential Care 101
Eligibility and Assessment
Residential Care Financials
Hints and Tips
Selecting the Aged Care Home
Admission Day
Transition and Settling In
Residential Care STAR Ratings