Step 9.4

How do I manage family and expectations when my parent is moving to an aged care home?

Managing family and expectations

Most families pull together at this time, when a brother, sister or parent is moving to an aged care home (nursing home). It is an emotional milestone for all.

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However all families are different and we all have different pressures in our daily lives. It is usual for one family member to take on the bulk of the responsibility to manage administration and the physical move into the aged care home (nursing home).

This will include:

  • Pulling together all the documentation, especially around finances 
  • Seeking appropriate financial advice
  • Searching and negotiating the contract with the aged care home (nursing home)
  • Identifying the real estate agent and valuing the family home
  • Preparing the family home for sale, including funding repairs and marketing
  • Clearing and cleaning the home after the sale
  • Managing the legal and financial affairs, including investments of excess funds


  • Keeping everybody updated

Our Ray White 'concierge service' specialises in all aspects of apreparing your home for sale. Nobody understands family more than we do, we are a family business in our fourth generation.

Brian White

Ray White Chairman

There is no escaping that this can be an intensive and emotional workload, which brings many families undone with misunderstandings and perceived unfairness.

Our advice is to hold a family meeting well in advance – 12 months or more before a move to an aged care home (nursing home) is likely – and to include the person moving to care so that their view is respected. 

Identify early who will be responsible for which activities, ensure they have the correct legal documents in place to allow them to do their tasks.

Agreement on ‘strategy’ is also very helpful. For instance:

Be aware that all of our lives change from year to year. A general understanding may not hold a few years later due to financial and other changes in circumstances for some family members. Equally the directions of the person going in to care can change over time.

A family conference once a year is a wise precaution.

Top Tip

Our advice is to hold a family meeting well in advance 12 months or more before a move to an aged care home (nursing home) is likely and to include the person moving to care so that their view is respected.

Events can destroy the best laid plans.  A fall could necessitate a sudden transfer to hospital and within days or weeks the move to an aged care home (nursing home).

The family member appointed to manage the legal and financial tasks and the sale of the family home could themselves be incapacitated or worse. Is there a backup plan including a second person with the legal authority (Enduring Power of AttorneyEnduring Guardianship, bank account access and more) to act?

Events can destroy the best of plans.Be prepared for the unexpected.

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A special thanks to our contributors

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.