Impact on couples when one goes into a nursing home

Hello all.
Very happy to have found this discussion forum, as trawling through the internet has not given me any answers.
My father is to be admitted to a nursing home due to dementia.He has received a care package for many years, so all the assessments and Centrelink documentation is in place. As a couple, all their finances are joint. They do not own a home, and have limited finances, of approx $150k. The daily care fee will be fully subsidised, there is no means testing for this amount, and the accomodation payment is calculated on the cost of the bed/room.The RAd and DAP are calculated on half the amount. My concern is this- They have put off buying a new car and upgrading the fridge and washing machine for years, but now that a place has become available, we have 3 days to sign, before my mum will have to start living on a single pension, losing her carers allowance as well. The above items are a neccessity.
1- Is there any benefit in rushing in, over the next few days to buy these items? I think they will still be valued as assetts and therefore will not have any benefit to decreasing the DAP?
2- Is it neccessary to establish individual bank accounts, so that their pensions are seperated?
3- Do they need to seperate the amount held jointly in term deposit? What happens to the annual interest if this is not done?
4-Is there any benefit as to being “illness seperated” or seperated, in Centrelink’s eyes?
5- When he gets admitted, does that mean his portion of savings is frozen, in regard to gifting rules?
6- is gifting- to the $10000 per year limit, or buying funeral bonds,the only valid way to reduce capital held?

I am just concerned that Mum is going to be held responsible for all the bills,has to fund neccessary items from her half of the savings, whilst in the governments eyes, my father still owns half of the assets for costs to be calculated on. She will have to come up with the rent, or move, replace her car, which is in need of $1000’s of works( hence the new car)have to pay for his medications, any extra services,or we have to help financially. If we buys the new car and the appliances now, would they qualify as unrealisable assets for calculations?
Thank you so much for any help you can give me, in this new world of senior finance.

Hi Vicki ADon’t quite understand why you feel the need to divorce your husband when he’s receiving his full pension, and you are also getting a pension, also if his dementia is at an advanced stage he may not be able to legally sign divorce documents and also I’m pretty sure that if he could you could lose your EPOA over him. With him already being in care, you should be able to get on with your life as you please anyway. I know it’s difficult, my husband also has advanced dementia and is 20 years older than me, so I know where you’re coming from, they can linger on for years, same as my mother who is 88 and has dementia , but I wouldn’t even think of divorcing my husband, even if he is difficult to put up with at times, he just finished another stint in restpite because I needed a break, but am happy to have him home again, at least for now, and he’ll probably go in care permanently at some stage.Nellie. I know it’s difficult. My hlder than me, so i get where you’re coming from in that regard, but I certainly wouldn’t even think of divorcing him, although I had put him in restpite out of frustration for a couple of weeks, so i could have a break , as he was being difficult. And he will most likely go back into restpite and eventually go in permanently.

Since this last question my husband has now been in Aged Care for over 12 months. We are assessed separate as a couple permanently separated by illess so that he receives his full pension as a single pensioner and I do as a job seeker. As a protected person living in our own home can I divorce my husband to separate us financially as well in Centrelink terms without that adversely affecting the protected person status. I have looked after him for 17 years the last 3 full time before he went into care. He has dementia and Parkinsons but is physically without any other health issues and is 71.I am only 62 and would like to be able to get on wi the remainder of my life as a seperate individual without having to wait to be separated as a widow. I will still be his main Carer and EPOA as I am now and will go on supporting him with visits several times a week and being

hi my husband and i have no house and only about $120.00 in the bank second hand furniture and a old 10year car but i still have to pay $52.25 fees per dat and admin free of 11.99 a day plus his medication and his cloyhing includ e shoes which he keep loosing i need to kno w how i can reduced the fees we are now on a single pension and his pension is not enough to pay foe all that i have been told to use our money first

Helloi have just discovered your forum and it looks great. My question relates to my husband and the cost of home care. he is a healthy 86 year old while I am 64 and still working full time. I earn a good income. His memory is declining and Im trying to determine how to get help for him at home, while I am at work. Am I entitled to any home care through the aged care system? I believe that if I retired, I would be, but I want to continue working. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you

HiMy in-laws own their home (current value around $650k) and they took out a reverse mortgage several years ago (we only just found this out), which is now up to around $270k and growing each month by around $1600. They can no longer live in this home and are currently living with my sister-in-law who is renting a property and has become their full time carer.My Father-in-law was recently admitted to hospital and is now a high care patient and may need to go into a Transition centre, Aged Care Facility or Palliative care (the hospital is debating which). The house is worth around $650k and their combined other assets are below $150k. They both receive a full DVA pension each.An aged care facility has told has he will have to pay $550k RAD, if you do the sums he does not have this amount of money even if we sell the house and pay back the mortgage, this will leave my mother-in-law without any assets, she also has dementia and requires some specialist assistance, she has been approved for a level 4 Aged Care Package.We are not sure if we should sell the house, before the decision is made for him to possibly go into permanent aged care, or should we hang onto it even though the mortgage is costing $1600 per month and rising?Would the aged care facility be able to take all the assets and demand more than the couple have for one of them going into a facility? Thank you for your assistance, we are becoming more and more confused over the ins and outs of aged c

Hi andczo,I am not a financial adviser but my understanduing is that as a couple your parents are seen as owning 50 % of the assets each so I assume that once the family home is sold your father is now assessed as owning 50 % of the family home’s value. This will then impact on his means tested fee. The value of the RAD is also included in the assets assessment as well.You mention you were told that your parents fees would be independent of each other but you dont say who told you that. I would recommend that you speak to Department Human Services Income and Assets division on 1800 227 475 for advice. If they are not able to assist you then it may be worthwhile speaking to a specialist aged care financial adviser to ensure that your parents aged care fees are being managed in the most economical way.Regards

Hello,Firstly, I wish I found this website about a year ago…My Dad entered a Nursing home about a year ago as a fully subsidised resident with demetia. Mum stayed at home in their fully owned home.Earlier this year, Mum had some health issues and she also had to enter the same nuring home as Dad.For Mum to be able to secure her room she had to pay a RAD of $450,000 which came from the sale of their family home. It left her with about $60k in the bank. I submitted the change in financial position to CentreLink and was surprised to find that due to the sale of the family home, Dad’s means tested care fee went from $0 to $58.19 per day!Is this correct? How can the RAD (which I understand to be an asset) being used to soley secure my Mum’s room (as they in seperate rooms) be used against my Dad’s care fee assessment? I was told they are totally independant and Dad’s care fees would not later in anyway.Any clarification and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank-you!

Hi libra65,We always strongly advise people to get specialised aged care financial advice to ensure the right decisions are made especially about making the right decisions on selling or downsizing the family home. They can advise on the best way to structure separate and joint assets, the impact on the pension etc to maximise financial benefit around paying aged care fees.You can also speak with the Income and Assets division at the Department Human Services on 1800 227 475.RegardsJill

Hi Rainee,I can understand that you are worried about your friend’s financial situation.With regards to the cost of her medications I’m not sure what you can do except to ask for a meeting with the clinical staff and pharmacist as to whether there are any generic brands of the medications your friend takes that may save some her some money. I would assume that any of her medication that is qualifies for a subsidy by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is being done so.If you have been caring for your friend at home you can still continue to help out and care for her along side the home’s staff once she moves into an aged care home. But my understanding is that to draw a carers allowance you have to be caring for them in a private home.However to clarify this I suggest you call the Department Human Services on 132 717 .All the bestRegardsJill

Hi MissBoots80.
If you are part of a couple when you enter an aged care home your income and assets will be assessed as being 50% of the two of you put together. I have included a link below that will explain what is included in your mothers Income and Assets assessment. What do I need for the income and assets test? | agedcare101 Here is the governments definition of medically/illness separated couples: Determining an illness separated couple | Social Security Guide If a persons income and assets assessment designates that they are eligible for a fully supported place in an aged care home then the pension will cover the daily fee - it is 85% of the single rate pension and is paid by everyone who enters residential aged care - which is the only fee they will be likely to have to pay. If a person is partially supported then they will have to pay the daily fee, accommodation fee and may also have to pay a means tested fee as well depending on their his will be determined by Department Human Services (DHS).You can call DHS Income and Assets division on 1800 227 475.Given that everyone’s financial circumstances are different we always recommend that people seek specialist aged care financial advice when moving into residential aged care .Regards Jill What do I need for the income and assets test? | agedcare101

I have a friend that has gone into a nursing home in the last 6 weeks, due to having had a stroke. I’m her nominee for Centrelink & I look after her finances & make sure that she has everything she needs. My question is I got an account of $132 for medications for one month & after the nursing home takes their costs out of her aged pension, she is only left with $90 a fortnight. That’s $180 a month & she has the chemist account, it doesn’t leave get much for anything else she may need. What can I do to? Am I able to get a Carer’s allowance to help her, whilst she is in a nursing home? Please help, I’m frantic & worried sick

HI, I am writing on behalf of my mum who is 83 and living in the family home, my dad who is 80 is in a nursing home and his pension covers the fees. What happens if my mum sells her family home to move into a retirement village, if she sells the house does dad assume 50% of the sale straight away or does mum buy her new place of residence and then what ever is left, if any, is then assessed as being 50/50. What amount can my dad have as assets (a split of everything between mum/dad) before it was deemed he would be required to pay any additional fees? Thanks for any guid

I have a similar query to Pats.My stepmum is needing to enter permanent Residential care, as she’s in the advanced stages of dementia and can no longer stay at home.She has been assessed by ACAT and approved for Residential care, and level 4 assistance.Dad is only 64 and in good health, and will remain living in their home for the foreseeable long future.He has been on the carer’s pension for my stepmum for more than 2 years, so I understand that makes him a protected person which makes their home exempt from the income and assets assessment?Dad will need to return to work once my stepmum goes in to care, so will this deem them ‘medically separated’ as far as Centrelink is concerned?So my questions are:1. What would be included in the assessment? Their joint savings account of about $10k, my stepmums super (as she is over 70), and their car of about $8k? They have no other assets in joint name. Would my dad’s bank account solely in his name be included?2. I have looked at costs and my interpretatiat he wouldn’t have to pay the bond if he got a government funded place, but there is a daily fee and another fee, would this be covered by my stepmums pension?Thank you!

Hi Lyn,Sorry to read about your situation. The absolute best thing you can do is seek professional financial advice from someone who specialises in aged care finances. Not only will they be able to advise on the best approach with your mum’s husband’s daughter, but they know the aged care finance system back to front and know things relevant to your mum’s specific situation.If you are looking for a recommendation we believe the below two are very good. Both also take on clients nationally (you don’t have to be based in Sydney for example.)1.Sydney Aged Care Financial Advisers, who can be contacted on 1300 659 6772. Affinity Aged Care Financial Services, who can be contacted on 02 8078 0888Asking friends if they have an Aged Care Financial Advisor is another good way to find a good Adviser.When an event happens (like the one that resulted in your mum’s husband being in rehab hospital for 5 weeks) things can move very quickly and hospitals can put quite a bit of pressure on the fament to respite care. Of course, the patient/ resident doesn’t need to stay at the respite care location and they are free to move to a different aged care home. Perhaps that could help explain why your mother’s husband’s daughter didn’t consult your mother in his move but you’re right that he is free to move somewhere else and it seems reasonable to think his wife should be included in that decision.We hope this helps,the agedcare101

HiMy 94 year old stepfather has just been placed in respite at an aged care facility by his daughter after spending 5 weeks in a rehab hospital, with a view to permanent placement. His daughter had him sign the admission papers to the aged care facility and I am concerned whether this is even legal given the unconfirmed diagnosis of dementia. The rehab centre is saying he has dementia but we have had no official statement of this from any doctor. He is currently on a level 4 home health care package which started June 2013 as a lower level, that he does not seem to pay anything for and has a balance in his home care account of $42,000.00.(Which he will lose when he goes to permanent care). His daughter and son-in-law are making decisions on his welfare without consulting my Mother - his wife, in collusion with the rehab centre and aged care centre. The daughter only looked at 1 aged care facility before putting him in respite. My Mother does not want him to stay at this centre where he is currently in respite as it is too far away for her to drive (she has a restricted driving licence and will probably lose it soon when GP assesses her). I hold a POA and Enduring Guardianship for my Mother and am able to access her bank accounts via the various banks websites. My concern is that his daughter wants to get a POA for her father and my Mother will be left with no income as his substantial (defined benefit scheme) State Super goes into an account in his name that she cannot access. They have cash assets of over a million dollars between them so receive no pension. I am going overseas in 5 days and have organised my Mother to have her own home care package (level 2)- but I think she will have to pay maximum fees and will be using her own bank account which only accrues interest. Should I be organising a POA for my Mother so she can access his bank accounts and the supperanuation payments.Thankyou Lyn

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Hi there,Thank you for your question. Aged care finances are always really complicated as everyone’s situation is slightly different. The very best thing you can do is invest in talking to an Aged Care Financial Advisor. Affinity Aged Care Financial Services is an example of one, but there are a few around. Be mindful that a simple Financial Advisor will not suffice. It needs to be a company that specialises in the finances of Aged Care.Your understanding is spot on and while we can’t give financial advice we can confirm a couple more details.If you rent her home, all money received from rent will be included in the income and assets assessment. If you have a family member living in here to be closer to her and maintain the house, any contribution they pay to live there will still be seen as rent. If a family member lives there rent free, then the house will be exempted for two years and then included with the capped house value (the same as if the house was left emptaffect your mother’s age pension, this is something you will have to check with The Department of Human Services. They have a call centre that can be reached on 1800 227 475.We hope this helpsThe agedcare101

I am seeking some advice. My mother is in full time aged care with advanced Alzheimers - she is fully-funded with approx $4ok in investment assets outside of the home. Her husband recently passed away. Up until his passing he was living in their home. I understand the home is an exempt asset for two years from her husband’s passing and thereafter the house value is capped at a discounted rate. I am wondering if the house is rented, how this will impact her age pension entitlement / care fees? How much income can she receive from rent before it impacts her benfits? Now her husband has passed away, the closest family is 6hrs away. If a family member was to move into the house to be close to her, maintain the property and cover the cost of all outgoings, how would this be viewed? Would Centrelink assess the property to be earning commer

Thank you that is helpful as Ive not quite reached the two year point on my carers pension. I have been getting the Carer payment for about 6 years. Some friends and health professionals have suggested that I consider full time placement but Im not ready to do this yet anyway and that gives me another reason to give them for not going down that road yet. I dont think Ill make it to pension age before he needs full time care so it is reassuring to know that my super is not included until I reach pension age as that may give me a few ye