Starting the conversation about aged care

It's never too early or too late to talk about aged care. Talking about aged care doesn't mean you can't live an independent or active life.

People often feel anxious about having this conversation. But talking about aged care before you think you or someone you care for may need it helps you to be prepared. You'll be more informed to make your own decisions when the time comes, and be in control of your own future.

Tips for having a conversation about aged care

Have a conversation early with family, friends, carers or health professionals about your aged care preferences:

  • Find a time and place when you won't be disturbed.
  • Understand each other's concerns:
    • people are sometimes worried that if they start talking about aged care, others will think they can no longer cope or can't live at home any more.
    • family members and carers can be worried that a person they care about may not get the help they need, when they need it.
  • Talk about the benefits of finding out early about aged care, for example you will know what to do if you need care unexpectedly.
  • Focus on what you want in the future and how you can work together to maintain your way of life.
  • Talk about the services that may help you at home such as nursing care, gardening or home maintenance.

Possible conversation starters

  • 'I want to stay in my own home as I grow older. How can we make that happen?'
  • 'I've been reading about aged care. Can we talk about options and services that may be available?'
  • 'Some things around the house are getting a bit hard for me. Can we look at how to get someone in to help out?'

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Last reviewed: 10 December, 2016.