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The aged care decision maze (2017-18)

Contemplating residential aged care is extraordinarily complex. There are difficult emotional, physical and financial questions to consider. Typically it comes when the older person is particularly vulnerable, perhaps after a fall or health scare.

They might be in hospital or in respite care and the decision to considerformal care needsto be made. Who makes this decision? Should it be a doctor? Orfamily? Would home care be better? What can the person afford? How far must the person move? How do they fund the entry and ongoing costs of care? Must the person selltheir home?

The system does older Australians no favours. Itis a complex maze, difficult to navigate even for professionalfinancial advisers and people familiar with the health system. And the consequences of getting it wrong are high, whether it be financially or in quality of life.

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