Aged Care Steps technical manager Natasha Panagis said with 1 million retirees currently accessing aged care services in Australia already, advice on aged care has become one of the major topics for financial advice.
“That number includes individuals looking at home care or moving into an aged care facility,” said Ms Panagis.
“That number is only going to increase as Baby Boomers continue to age and begin to require those aged care services in the next couple of years.”
The latest inter-generational report, she said, stated that the number of people over the age of 85 will increase to almost 2 million by 2050 so demand for these sorts of services will only grow.
“Advisers without an aged solution may fall behind as the population continues to age, and people need aged care advice along the way,” she said.
One of the biggest issues to plan for is loss of capacity where illnesses such as dementia arise she said.
“This is the leading factor behind the need for people to require care services. When the time comes, the client will need to delegate their financial decisions to someone else and it's easier if those types of attorneys and guardianships are in place because once they've lost legal capacity, it's too late to set up those powers,” she warned.
If the documentation isn’t in place beforehand, she said, then often their family will need to go to the guardianship tribunal of the state and try and seek financial management orders which can be time consuming and quite expensive.
“The statistics behind dementia are really quite high. Alzheimer’s Australia said that on average there is one new case of dementia that occurs every six minutes. For people over the age of 85, 30 per cent have dementia, and that's the typical age for aged care,” she said.
“It's about speaking clients early to make sure they've done their retirement planning and have their estate planning is all in place so if something like that happens, they are prepared for the decisions that will need to be made at that time.”