As we get older, our minds and our bodies can experience a change that makes us more reliant on those around us for assistance in day to day affairs and chores. Ideally as we age, we have people around us who love and care for us but unfortunately sometimes this is not the case. If you or someone you know is experiencing any type of pressure to do things that would only benefit the person exerting the pressure, please contact us. At a minimum to explain rights and avenues of help and hopefully to remove you or someone you know from an undesirable situation.
I was of two minds as to whether to write a piece on Elder Abuse, but 20 years as a practising lawyer has shown me how low the moral bar can drop when it comes to the assets of another who may be leaving this place in the not too distant future. For some, there is no act too low if it means they will get a share of the assets of the person they are targeting. This is particularly the case for those of us who do not have children to assist us.
If you have an elderly parent or relative needing to go into a nursing home, please be aware the Manager of the Nursing home will talk in terms of daily rates. You need the Manager to talk to you about fortnightly rates. As you can appreciate, putting someone in a nursing home is a highly charged emotional event and often people are not thinking clearly. It is easy to assume that the only reason your elderly parent or relative is there is because they can afford it on their aged pension. However, the aged pension does not always cover the cost of the nursing home and relatives of the person receiving care are called upon to prop their elderly relative up financially. So if both of your parents are on aged pension and one has to go into care, the parent remaining at home can expect to lose half their pension supporting their partner in the nursing home. This is not OK and our federal government has allowed these nursing home operators to behave unconscionably. Often you are not permitted to take the contract away and read it – they require you to sign it before you have read it.
So our federal government is putting families into financial distress because of the lack of transparency around the processes for admitting people into nursing home. If you need some assistance around this, please contact us.