Why Would a 60-Year-Old Single Woman Even Think About Aged Care?
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
I recently caught up with Lile (a previous client’s daughter) to assist her to plan ahead “just in case” a life event occurs. Life events can include the development of Dementia/ Alzheimer’s Disease, a fall with fractures, stroke, heart attack, terminal illness, degenerative diseases or cancer among others.
This really gives us a chance to think and reflect about where we see ourselves as we age and what to do if we don’t have immediate family support nearby to help us through the process.
This is Lile’s Story
"I'm one of the growing number of single-person households, and lately, as a lone individual, I've had cause to think about planning for my own future - and how that future might 'end'!
Both my parents were post World War 2 migrants to Australia, who made excellent lives here for our nuclear family, with myself as the only child! My dad died in 1989 and from then the family here in Australia consisted of my mum and myself. I've remained (happily!) unmarried with no children and wish to remain so.
My mum led a healthy and happy life, basically living alone after my dad's death with frequent weekend visits from myself, until she was 92 and started to decline both physically and mentally. I had the great good fortune to be introduced to Danielle Robertson, who was enormously helpful to both myself and my mum by guiding & navigating us through the Aged Care system. Through Danielle's help, my mum was placed in a welcoming care facility for the last two years of her life. Last year my mum died peacefully aged 94, though she was back and forth between the care facility and hospital in that last year due to her declining health. I acted as her advocate and sole family visitor throughout this time and it was being a part of this whole process that caused me to begin to consider my own future, in terms of ageing and decline. I realised that I basically had no one to fulfil the role for me that I had fulfilled for my mum!
I once again turned to Danielle for advice and assistance on what options there are for an individual without a family support network and how I might actively & beneficially plan for my own future and that inevitable future end! I did have a Financial Plan for retirement, but Danielle pointed out the blindingly obvious that this plan should also include a suitable amount for access to Aged Care, not just for a hoped-for healthy & active retirement time! Danielle was also able to provide a comprehensive Life Plan covering areas such as the social aspects of discussing with friends the 'what-ifs' and the hoped for 'when-the-time-comes-I'd-like-'this'-to-happen', providing necessary information to trusted friends by creating an Investment & password register, writing an Advanced Health Directive, pre-organising a funeral & internment option, thinking about possible home modifications sooner rather than later to help me stay in the home, even if my health does begin to decline in coming years and transport options if ever I lose my Driver's License, etc. etc.
Most valuable of all, Danielle, through DR Care Solutions, offered her services as required into the long-term, to assist in co-ordinating the above with my nominated friends, as well as help with accessing any available Government services at the time they might be required. Knowing that this was a possibility was the most valuable part of the discussion with Danielle and having this clearer sense of a road ahead and the community of people that could be drawn on to help in the future was invaluable to me."
For help with forward planning or having those difficult discussions, please feel free to reach out to Danielle Robertson from DR Care Solutions to see how Danielle can help you.