Things to consider

Are you caring for someone?

 

In order to continue providing the the ongoing care your loved ones require it is essential that you receive the help you need to recharge and reconnect with others. We offer a full range of carer support programs to assist with this.

Our carer support programs include:

  • In-home respite -  This support allows you some down-time, while your loved one is supported and cared for in their own home
  • Day respite - Allows you to recharge safe in the knowledge that your loved one is supported and cared for in a day respite centre or Churches of Christ Care aged care service
  • Cottage respite - Where your loved one spends an extended period of time in a homelike setting at a Churches of Christ Care aged care service.

Advance care planning

Having a written advance care plan can improve end of life care and reduce unwanted and unneeded medical treatments and hospitalisations.

Everyone should have the opportunity to express their wishes about the treatment and care that they receive.

Advances in medical technology have allowed people to live longer despite many chronic illnesses. While it is good news that many of us will live to a very old age, people often survive with lots of problems. We now have the technology to keep people alive artificially, where in the past, they may have died naturally.

The tough question is just how much invasive or aggressive medical attention is a good thing. The best answer is that it is up to everyone as individuals to decide for themselves. Have you thought about:

  • What constitutes quality–of–life for you?
  • What types of medical procedures do you consider to be undesirable?
  • If you had multiple physical problems, at what point, would you want the doctors to stop trying to prolong your life?
  • What are your values and beliefs (religious, spiritual or otherwise)?
  • When your time eventually comes, what would constitute a ‘good death’ for you?

Most people never speak about these issues. When people are critically ill, they are usually unable to participate in these important decisions.

It is never too early to consider, and write down, thoughts and wishes regarding end of life care. In fact, it is preferable to consider these issues clearly and calmly when the matter is not urgent or critical.

Advanced care planning should be a routine practice for everyone and especially soon after entering an aged care facility.

A discussion between the resident (if able), family, nurse, GP and chaplain (if wanted) can take place soon after admission or at any time suitable for all involved. The outcomes of the discussion is recorded and placed in the resident’s file.

Advanced care planning is not a single event, it is an ongoing process and wishes can be changed.  End of life choices need to and should be revisited over time, you or your delegated decision maker may have a change of mind, or become clearer about  wishes concerning end of life options.

Selling your home

The decision to enter residential aged care is often difficult and emotional for both you and your family. It can create anxiety and uncertainty, with people often worried about the changes involved. Many people also chose to sell their home as part of the process.

Things to consider

There are a number of things you can do to make the process easier.

  • Selling can be particularly difficult if it was your family home, where you have lived for many years and where you raised your children. It can be emotional for both you and your adult children and it is important to recognise and respect the fears, anxiety and regret that may arise. Talk with your family members and be honest about how you feel and take the time to listen to how they feel. You might want to spend some time reminiscing about your time in the home and any particularly special times.
  • You will need to engage a real estate agent. A good agent is critical to the sale of your home so it is important to take the time to find someone you feel comfortable with. They should be able to offer you advice and insights into selling your home, help you set the sale price and talk with you about preparing your home for sale. You might want to speak with a few of your local agents until you find one who you feel understands you and will do the best job at selling your home.
  • Selling your home is the ideal time to go through your belongings. We tend to keep many things, often for sentimental reasons, but having lots of furniture and mementoes can make a sale more difficult. Your agent may recommend ‘decluttering’, which means removing knick-knacks, excess furniture and personal items from your home before it goes on the market. When you move into aged care most of your furniture is already provided so you might want to consider what you want to give away to family members, or sell or donate to charity before you move.
  • If it all feels overwhelming, you may also want to consider hiring a home transitions service, some of these services even specialise in supporting seniors who are looking to move into a retirement village or residential aged care. They can help you select a real estate agent, prepare your house for sale, ‘declutter’, make those important downsizing decisions and even pack up the house for moving.

 

Estate planning

What is estate planning?

Estate planning is about more than just having a Will. It involves the review, management and control of your personal and business affairs. It includeds tax effective Wills and directives to protect your estate and the interests of your beneficiaries in the event of your death.

The following factors should be considered when developing your estate plan:

Wills

Making a Will is the best way to ensure that once you pass away, your family members are properly provided for, and it minimises the likelihood of estate disputes.

What is a Will?

A will is a legal document which sets out who’ll receive your property and possessions (estate) after your death. Having a valid will gives you the best chance of making sure your assets go where you want them to.

The people who receive your estate are referred to as your beneficiaries.

Why do I need a Will?

You should always make a will if you have a family or if other people are financially dependent on you.

Without a Will, you don't have any say about how your estate is distributed. If you die with out making a Will (intestate) your assets, including personal belongings, will be disributed according to law. Your estate could be left to your legal next of kin, which may not necessarily be your intention.

Making or altering your Will is particularly important when life circumstances change. It is recommended that you review your Will every three to five years to ensure that it still reflects your wishes.

A Will also provides you with the opportunity to name guardians for dependent children and establish a trust or donate directly to Churches of Christ in Queensland or any other charity that you may wish to support.

Help with making your Will

The law around Wills can be complex, therefore it is advisable to have yours drafted by someone who understands the law and can advise the best way to ensure your assets end up where you want them to. Making a homemade Will means you run the risk of your intentions not being clear enough. They are also  more likely to be contested.

A solicitor or The Public Trustee of Queensland can confidentially discuss your concerns and requirements. The Solicitor or Public Trustee of Queensland will prepare a Will for you and assist with the correct wording to ensure that your wishes regarding your estate are honoured. The Will making service by The Public Trustee of Queensland is 100 per cent fee free. Private solicitors may charge for making a Will.

 

Power of Attorney

What is Power of Attorney?

We cannot always act on our own behalf, this might be due to illness, accident or emergency or incapacitation. Granting Power of Attorney means you legally appoint a person or organisation to make decisions, sign documents and act on your behalf. This can be particularly helpful for elderly people who may not be able to do some of the day to day activities such as banking as easily as they used to. Granting Power of Attorney to a trusted reliable loved one can help create peace of mind.

Various forms of Power of Attorney

  • Limited Power of Attorney – limiting the actions that can be performed on your behalf
  • General Power of Attorney – giving wide powers to act on your behalf
  • Enduring Power of Attorney – wide ranging powers to act on you behalf, even if you suffer a loss of mental capacity.

Power of Attorney documents can be drawn up by a solicitor or the Public Trustee of Queensland.

 

Advance Health Directive

Any adult has the right to accept or refuse recommended health care. However, there may be times when you are unable to express your wishes, due to accident, emergency, illness or incapacitation. An Advance Health Directive is a legal document that states your wishes or directions in relation to future health care and medical treatment and how you would like your body to be dealt with in the event of an accident.

You can chose for it to come into effect any time you are unable to decide for yourself or only if you are terminally ill. If you have already given someone Enduring Power of Attorney you need to discuss your Advance Health Directive with them.

An Advance Health Directive needs to be completed by you and your doctor and signed by a witness. If you are admitted to hospital, you would let your medical staff about it and where it can be obtained.