Helping to solve ‘aging in place’ in Canberra

As we get older the tough questions we don’t want to ask are swept under the rug, but it’s better to get prepared and plan for the worst when it could come…

Reaching a senior age, we all understand that there are things that we can’t do by ourselves anymore. Becoming conscious of deteriorating health, limited mobility and flexibility, and can be afraid of being dependent or a burden on loved ones. 

The questions that need to be asked and talked about is what is best for you, your family and your loved ones? Have the conversation now as who knows when each of our time will come. 

The best option is to prepare for such a time rather than leave it too late. Choosing the best product on the market is not an easy task because affordability and value for money is a large factor that everyone needs to consider. Allowing the older generation to still exercise their independence but at the same time caring for their needs is like hitting two birds with one stone. Making them feel that help is just a few steps away but having privacy for both households. It could be the perfect solution. A secondary residence can also be upgraded with lights and doors that can be controlled by a tablet or device which can manage future consequences if a wheelchair or walker is required.

Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) housing options advisory service is offering the following to those over 50 years of age with housing issues:

  • Accessing Home Care Packages to help you stay in your own home
  • Accessing NDIS Arrangements to help you stay in your own home
  • Accessing community support systems for seniors in the ACT  
  • Advice on home modifications and/or downsizing to a smaller home
  • Advice on de-cluttering / helping someone with a hoarding disorder
  • Accessing appropriate ACT Public Housing and private housing options
  • Advice on Retirement Villages
  • Advice on assistance for carers (including Respite Care options)
  • Accessing Residential Aged Care Facilities
  • Rental options

CLICK HERE to see more of where this information came from

A Secondary residence is an option that is affordable when compared to a bond for a retirement village or aged care facilities. My grandma at Curtin aged care must buy on to her home at 430k plus a daily cost and medical expenses, this was in October 2019.

Although you get a percentage back from the sale of her room in future, it is unlikely to be more than the value of what you paid. So thinking about a secondary residence at approximately 250k can become appealing when all of the products, appliances are assets and the value of the land can increase so you’re much more likely to get more back than what you originally paid for it.

Staying near the place where they have lived or living close to family we believe would be highly preferred for a lot of elderly. As much as they want independence, the importance of the connection of family far outweighs options of aged care facilities. 

A DA approved secondary residence has to make sure that the block has access for a wheelchair, the internals has wider than normal doors (900 rather than 750) and built-in bracing in the walls (for grab rails and a shower seat in future).

It can be a big adjustment moving into an aged care facility, therefore something in the backyard of where there is familiarity is a big advantage. You must also weigh up the care level, if there is extreme care required 24/7 then the time for a family member or a staff member to look after them might outweigh the cost of the facility. Make sure you talk with your family, write down your own wishes and also a financial adviser. Always good to get many opinions and make a decision that feels right to you. All the best with your solution.

Sources used in this post: https://www.cotaact.org.au/services/housing-options-advice-service