Tag Archives: Aged Care

What happens if you need to become a carer?

You’ve made plans, set a budget and financial goals; you’re ready for anything, right? But what happens if a loved one is in an accident or your ageing parent starts needing dedicated care? How do you juggle career and the role of carer?

Registered Nurse, Rachel James, had packed her bags and was five days away from a big new move to Singapore when she got the call; her 22-year-old daughter, Emily, had suffered a fall while snowboarding in America, breaking her neck and rendering her quadriplegic. In an instant, their worlds turned upside down.

Rachel’s first reaction was one of shock and disbelief. “There’s sadness and a degree of panic about how you’re going to do this. There was also some grief about losing an imagined future. Then it settles into a heightened level of stress where you think, ‘How am I going to manage this?’”

In Australia, there are 2,698,700 carers – 12% of the population, and one in 8 Australian employees are carers.

Know your rights at work

Juggling work and caring can be difficult and, without adequate support, carers report greater strain on their work and life – a struggle that can impact their health as well as their productivity at work.

After the initial chaos and confusion had subsided, Rachel approached her previous employer to discuss re-entering her role as a practice nurse.

“Carers come into a distinct group within HR, and there are policies and entitlements so you can work optimally including paid and unpaid carers’ leave,” she says.

“You also have the right under the Fair Work Act to request flexible working arrangements. I started with just one Saturday a week, took on another day when things had settled down more and ultimately transitioned to more days later down the track.”

Tips for negotiating?

“Be assertive, be honest, endeavour to be flexible, have a realistic attitude in your ability to manage dual roles, and be a realist,” she says. “When I was honest with myself and my manager, there was really productive dialogue. She doesn’t ask me to perform tasks that are impractical for me. That’s really positive.”

Rachel also recommends setting a date to re-evaluate the arrangement to address any issues. “You may not get it right the first time and it’s helpful to have a date when you can revisit it”

Rachel strongly recommends aiming for a genuine balance.

Outsourcing tasks

Outsourcing part of the carer role is central to enjoying work, says Rachel. “You’re rarely alone in caring; there are usually family and friends who are happy to take over while you do your shopping, for instance.”

She also recommends having a ‘pyramid of communication’. “So you have five people you email if you need to get a message out there, and those people disseminate the information to the wider friends and family.”

Financial assistance

Rachel recommends investigating National Disability Insurnace Scheme (NDIS) funding to see if you’re entitled to receive the help of a paid carer in the home or special equipment, like a hoist or commode. “Get going as soon as possible to get things rolling. You have to be prepared for the long haul and just keep filling in the paperwork and jumping through the hoops.”

She also suggests contacting Centrelink to ask about a carer allowance. “Also, visit Carer Gateway (carergateway.com.au) or contact your local council to see if there are nearby carers’ support groups with resources on offer.”

Look after yourself

“For me, post-traumatic recovery and resilience is about your mental health. Look after yourself because the person you care for doesn’t want you to be lost. I genuinely think that balance is achievable. You can have a career and care but you have to give yourself a break. Having a good work/life balance is the bottom line.”


In Australia, there are 2,698,700 carers – 12% of the population, and one in 8 Australian employees are carers.

If you or a friend needs assistance, the below resources are a good start.

  • Carers Australia: 1800 242 636
  • Carer Gateway: 1800 422 737

Sometimes life deals us unexpected eventualities. Becoming a carer, whether it’s part-time or full-time, can not only affect your income and lifestyle today but also your future income and lifestyle. If you are confronted with a decision like this then you will need someone to ‘hold your hand’; reach out to the JBS Team to discuss how as trusted advisers we can help!

Source: Colonial First State

Home Care Packages

In a previous article we briefly touched on funding Aged Care through entering an Aged Care Home. One of the potential lesser known options when it comes to Aged Care is Home Care Packages. The Australian Government’s Home Care Package is aimed at helping you live in your own home for as long as you can, and in the recent 2018 Federal Budget the Government has announced further funding to help increase the availability of the Home Care packages.


In relation to Home Care packages, there are four levels that provide a range of different needs, and ranges from Basic to High-Level care needs. Some of the services provided are:


– Personal services such as bathing, dressing and communication

– Nutrition, hydration, meal preparation and diet, effectively helping with the preparation of meals and special diets where needed

– Transport and personal assistance such as with shopping, visiting health practitioners and attending social activities

– And a whole range more of different services


The five steps to accessing a home care package are:


1.  Confirming your eligibility to receive a home care package

2.  Researching home care providers and work out the costs

3.   Assignment of a home care package

4.  Entering into a home care package with your preferred provider

5.  Start receiving home care services and manage your services as your needs change


Aside from being able to remain in your own home, the other main benefit of a Home Care Package is the relatively low cost of the service when compared to going into an Aged Care Home. In relation to a Home Care Package, you may be asked to pay two types of fees for these services:


– A Basic Daily Fee, and

– An Income-Test Care Fee


The level of care you need and the amount you’re asked to pay is determined by the Department of Human Services (DHS).


The Basic Daily Fee is worked out as 17.50% of the single person rate of the Age Pension ($10.32 per day or $144.48 per fortnight). Depending on your income, you may then be asked to pay an income-tested care fee, which is in addition to the basic daily fee. The maximum you will be asked to pay for an income-tested fee is:


– $14.81 per day or $5,392.91 per year if your income is below $51,563.20 (as at 20th March 2018), or

– $29.63 per day or $10,785.85 per year for people with income above $51,563.20 (as at 20th of March 2018


Both the basic daily fee and income-tested fee index on the 20th of March and September each year.


Another thing to consider is that each provider of home care packages may charge different administration fees and may even charge exit fees if you change providers (such as due to moving home). These costs are in addition to the costs above, and are something that needs to be considered when selecting a provider.


Here at JBS we can help you estimate your costs in relation to taking on a Home Care Package and can help you compare the costs of different Home Care providers.


– Peter Folk –



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