Once you have identified that the time is right to move a loved one into aged care, it would seem logical that the process should be rather straight forward.  Right?  After all, you’ve already been on an emotional rollercoaster just coming to this decision and probably already feel drained, worried and perhaps even a little guilty.

At this point, however, there is still so much to consider.  Location, eligibility, vacancies, the ‘right’ fit, cost and affordability are just some of the issues to think about.  What you need now is someone on your team who knows the ropes and can guide you through the process in the quickest, least painful way possible.  And that’s where a placement consultant comes into the mix.

Placement Consultants (or Aged Care Service Navigators as they are sometimes known) can take the confusion and uncertainty out of this very stressful time.  A good placement consultant should be able to collate necessary information, explain processes, identify suitable vacancies, make recommendations, arrange tours, assist with essential paperwork (including Centrelink Financial Assessments), negotiate costs and advocate to facilities on your behalf.  A good placement consultant also knows their limitations and when to refer you to a financial planner, if required.  They should also be able to link you in with other relevant services and provide opportunities for you to access any available government funding.

If you are shopping around for a Placement Consultant, remember to ask them about their fees and make sure you understand the final cost you will be asked to pay and how long the process will take.  Ask if they charge an hourly rate or a capped fee and whether the fee will vary according to complexity or urgency of the placement.  These are all important considerations and you should be informed at the beginning of the process, so that there are no nasty surprises later on.

And remember, if you require an emergency respite placement, not all Placement Consultants can work under emergency conditions or understand emergency admission processes, so ask the consultant if they are able to meet this need before engaging them.

For a full list of Placement Consultants, consult the DPS Guide at www.agedcareguide.com.au/products-and-services/placement-consultants/sa