Married Couple in retirement village - one going to aged care section

My mother and father live in an independent townhouse in a village that also has residential aged care facilities. Currently, dad is in hospital and it looks like he will be having to be discharged into care because of reduced mobility. At this stage we are looking at short-term respite while he regains some of his former strength, we also want to buy some time to get a baseline of his mobility. We are currently getting the paperwork together to get him a place in the facility for either eventuality. My question is; what are the financial impacts for mum in her townhouse if dad’s pension supports his stay in the facility? They have bought the townhouse outright and pay a sort of body corporate fee which the operator of the facility gets by direct debit. They are on full pensions but have modest assets, superannuation, termdeposits, which we are arranging to be means tested. Thanks for any advice.

Hi Annette,
Thanks for your question. If your parents own their independent townhouse outright as you mentioned, then your mother would be seen as a Protected Person and the value of the townhouse will not be taken into consideration for the Assets and Income test. Moving your father into the aged care home under respite care first is a sensible move. It sounds like your father would be eligible for up to 63 days of respite care per year in an aged care home. This is known as residential respite care and is usually booked in advance, though it can be organised in an emergency. This can be extended in lots of 21 days if further assessment finds it is necessary. If it turns out he will need to move into full-time care at the aged care home, then some costs will apply even if he is able to get government assistance. For example, the basic daily fee is 85% of the age pension and this is a fee that everyone pays. Your mother should still continue to receive her y received one. The Department of Human Services has a call centre that is set to handle these financial questions and it can be handy to give them a call to confirm things. Their number is 1800 227 475. This is a different call centre to the My Aged Care call centre.
We hope this helps,
The Agedcare101 Team