Would you rather plan your funeral – or your aged care?

Turns out most of us (over 75 per cent) would rather think about what we want when we’re no longer here, according to a study by the US branch of Home Instead Senior Care. 

Their survey, which looked at two groups – one aged 45 to 69 and the second aged over 75, found while 73 per cent had taken financial steps to prepare for later life, only 13 per cent had saved financially for their long-term care. 

Over half the respondents who said they had made plans hadn’t actually made any arrangements either – mainly because they are still in good health (54 per cent) and they trust their loved ones to handle their arrangements for them (48 per cent). 

It tallies with my own experience among family and friends of a similar age. We often know what songs we would like played or who we would like to speak at our final farewell, but ask us whether we have thought about home care or how we are going to fund our aged care and we have no answers. 

Forward thinking 

To get the conversation going, Home Instead have come up with a great list of questions for people to consider: 

  • How do you want to live your final years?  
  • Where do you want to live? 
  • What's your plan if you need help? 
  • Do you know the cost?  
  • Are products and services available to support a plan?  
  • Is your plan flexible? 

Interestingly, the research also revealed older parents were a lot more comfortable (89 per cent) than their children in discussing their plans (68 per cent). I understand this too – none of us wants to think about their parents getting older. 

But it’s time for all of us to start talking about aged care and what will happen if we do need extra support. 

You’ll know your family are respecting your wishes and everyone can be comfortable in their decision-making – isn’t that what we all want? 

You can find more information about planning for aged care and the legal and financial documents you should have in place on agedcare101 here. 

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A special thanks to our contributors

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Journalist

Journalist

Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the Villages.com.au and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

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Ian Horswill

Journalist

Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, villages.com.au and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

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Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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Jill Donaldson

Physiotherapist

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.

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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.

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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.