In this segment of ‘’Speak My Language’’ we talk with Odysseas Kripotos about aged care homes and the options of the people who need the services these facilities provide.
Aged care homes offer the necessary support and care in thousands of elderly Australians across the country, including many Greek-Australians. Even though the public opinion on aged care homes has shifted the past few decades, there is still some bias regarding when someone needs to enter in one of these facilities.
An aged care home aims on providing its residents with a good quality of life despite their physical or psychological state. The elderly should be kept active, healthy, safe and clean. The government also stresses that the elderly should have the options and the necessary support so they can take their own decisions in regards to the services they receive in an aged care home.
Why aged care homes?
When it is time to turn to such a facility is because an elderly person is unable to live independently or lacks access to a carer or support from their family. As far as Greek Australians are concerned, decades ago there voices who were against setting up aged care homes run by Greek-Australian organizations, as they believed that children will take care their parents as long as it’s necessary.
However times have changed. Many people are not able to take care of their elderly loved ones, for example those that are in advanced stages of dementia.
Keeping in touch with the family
It should be noted that aged care homes are not places where the residents are being detained. Assuming their state allows, an elderly person can go for walks with their families and friends and keep in touch with their loved ones. It depends on their health and there must be a necessary check as the person enters and exits the facility.
In addition, the government allows to the elderly to spend 52 days outside the aged care home. So if someone wants to spend a month on holidays with their family, that is possible, so long as the limit of 52 days is kept. Also an elderly person is able to change the aged care home they are staying, or if they wish to return to their home, they are able to do so.
The cost differs from home to home and for the most part has to do with the evaluation of the elderly’s assets done by Centrelink, as well as the services and the rooms each facility offers. It should be noted that a person does not need to be ‘’well off’’ in order to get admitted to an aged care home. There have been several cases where people who were homeless and now stay in these facilities.
You can ask the facility’s manager for the costs and also consult a financial advisor on how to best cover the cost. The manager will give you an agreement form. You should not sign that right away. You can take it with you, discuss it with your family and determine whether this is something that interests you.
For those that came to Australia as migrants, and might face difficulties with the English language, certain cities have aged care homes that admit Greeks.
You can find more info on these facilities by calling My Aged Care 1800 200 422 or online at myagedcare.gov.au.
Not all Greeks choose these aged care homes, but those that do often choose to stay there because they use the Greek language and it helps them stay connected to their culture, by eating Greek food and celebrating Greek traditions and customs. In addition, some people, especially those with dementia communicate through their first language so it is easier to receive care from someone who is Greek.
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