Why couples don’t always get to live in the same retirement home

Cara Brett 15 November 2015

If you are a regular reader of this blog you may have noticed that I try to keep things as positive as possible. We at Bounce Financial like to focus on the positives in life and the power of good financial strategy in achieving your dreams. Of course on the flip side of this are the ramifications when you don’t have enough money to support yourself or your desired lifestyle.

In a previous job I used to do work for the public trustee. The public trustee provides a number of services and one of them is assisting elderly people with their financial plans once they have lost the capacity to do so themselves. This wasn’t an easy task and in a lot of cases, making good recommendations became very difficult once the client’s resources began to dry up.

One thing I came across regularly which always broke my heart was when couples were split up. You see, most people never actively investigate what is involved in getting into a nursing home. Wanting to not think about it, most people go on with the blissful assumption that at the time they or their partner need care, they can simply pop on down to the local nursing home which will take them both in for free. Sadly this is not the case.

Getting into a nursing home can be a long, drawn out and costly process. The rules are confusing, inconsistent and can lead to couples being split up. With the ageing population, we can expect to see this process become even harder as limited resources are further stretched.

I still recall one client I had who was an elderly man. He resided in one nursing home and his wife resided in another one which was a reasonable journey away. His one request for changes to his finances was that he could have enough money so he could see her twice a week instead of just the once. This simple request broke my heart.

Like all things in life, those with money have more options. Nursing homes are after all businesses and despite receiving funding from the government, will in most cases prioritise those who are able to pay for entry. In addition, those who leave their enquiries to the last possible moment may end up in a situation where availability means they don’t have a lot of options.

Life is inevitably going to happen. It doesn’t matter how far you put your head in the sand, you will age and at some stage will need some type of care. The care facilities of yesteryear are long gone, replaced with various options suited to different people based on their level of need for care. By making plans early, either for yourself or for your parents, you can ensure that at the time that you need care, you will have the resources and the options available to you to make your final years as great as your life up to that point.

If you have any questions about getting care either for you or for your parents, why not get in contact with us? We are always happy to assist. Please feel free to leave any comments below.

This post is from our resident Financial Planner Cara Brett, check out her details in the About Us section.

Posted in: Cara BrettFinancial Planning, and Investments

About the author: Cara Brett

Cara Brett proudly heads up Bounce Financial - founded in 2014 after a successful, decade-long career in the financial services industry. Cara’s experience encompasses both the financial product and financial advice sides. This gives her a comprehensive and holistic knowledge of all facets of financial planning.