My name is Stephen Stockwell and I am an aged care placement consultant. Since 2001, Personal Guidance in Aged Care has been helping seniors, and their families, find quality care accommodation across Adelaide, the Hills, and Fleurieu Peninsula.
How Can I Help?
For families, permanent placement involves significant and complex decisions, normally including large sums of money and made in an unwelcome hurry at a time of distress. Confusion when first faced with the system is common and getting it right the first time is imperative.
I provide, professional assistance to understand the process, the costs involved, how care needs relate to offers, and what it all means specifically for your relative or loved one; informed advice on residential care facility selection, based on standards of care; and best-practice in all documentation and presentation of a candid yet highly effective case for placement.
I personally guide your family through the entire process and prepare you for the weeks and months beyond admission. That includes close liaison with aged care providers, hospitals and other relevant healthcare professionals. Further, where required I can attend appointments such as the viewing of an offer; of particular use to those living an inconvenient distance from Adelaide, or travelling.
An aged care crisis, such as an unexpected hospital visit, can strike with little or no warning. When returning home is not an option, time is short and options are few. While often less than ideal for the needs of the person involved, in these circumstances a period of respite can grant the necessary time to find a quality permanent outcome.
The availability of carer respite, in the traditional sense, varies over time and place as providers respond to our evolving aged care system. I advise on the best path forward and assist with the process following discussion of your family’s needs.
Often the first of aged care services to be sought following ACAT assessment, care into the home has been warmly encouraged by federal government aged care reforms over recent years. But it’s important to know what (and what not) to expect and have a realistic plan for the short to medium term ahead.
I work with your family to develop and refine holistic strategies to approach and manage the changing care needs of your loved one.
There is much for seniors to consider before making a major change to one's living arrangements. Especially timing. I advise on the not-so-obvious implications of independent living versus serviced apartments, explain the various costing models behind all, recommend providers, and manage the process as required.
Frequently Asked Questions
'What is a Placement Consultant? What do you do?'
My core service is finding the best available accommodation for seniors needing care; also known as a bed finder, or broker. I provide advice and support as an expert on the fraught terrain between independent living, the hospital system, and residential care.
Questions answered. Outcomes achieved.
'Mother has been admitted to hospital and can’t return home. This is moving very fast and we have many questions. Can you help?'
Absolutely. You have a series of big, consequential decisions to make in a short space of time. Distress is normal. Respite can be seen as a quick fix from hospital, but let’s talk about the long term plan and see what can be achieved in one move.
'Father is starting to struggle on his own. What do we need to know?'
Now is a great time to arm yourselves with facts about what levels of care are provided, in what situations, and under what funding approvals. It’s important for families to come together around some realistic expectations for how father’s care needs are going to be met into the future. An initial consultation with me will provide you with a road map for the way ahead.
'Can you help find accommodation for both my parents, in the same facility?'
Yes, although this adds a further layer of complexity, potentially requiring more time and flexibility to resolve. Nevertheless, I am there wherever an appropriate outcome can be found.
'What about just respite? We’re not looking for permanent.'
Certainly, although we will still need to meet for an initial consultation to discuss care needs and context in detail.
'Do you coordinate home care services?'
No. I am an individual private consultant and do not provide any health care services directly, nor manage any staff or volunteers.
'What does residential care cost?'
Every case is different as all applicants are subject to a government means testing process to determine their fees. No one pays what they cannot afford, but I break down and explain how means testing works and how it will apply in your family’s situation.
'Will we have to sell the home?'
Not if a protected person still lives there. Otherwise, you’ll need to know where you stand in relation to the government’s means testing process. This subject is at the centre of a detailed conversation we have during my initial consultation.
'Do you provide financial advice?'
No. I break down the cost structure for residential care, then explain how means testing works and how it applies to each client. On many occasions the scenario is straightforward enough that financial advice is not required, but where it is I refer to a known expert in aged care finance.
'How long does the placement process take?'
Many variables determine availability; complexity of care needs, location, finance, and expectations, to name just a few. That said, placements taking longer than four weeks to resolve are uncommon, with many of my families receiving an offer within a week of paperwork lodgement.
'Will you do all the paperwork?'
Yes. Given a short list of documentation, I can manage the entire application process up until admission. I can also help complete and lodge the compulsory Request for Combined Assets & Income Assessment form [SA457]. Occasionally, thorough paperwork is all a family needs help with, and that’s fine too.
'Can a respite bed rollover to permanent?'
Sometimes this can happen, but not often enough to be relied upon as a strategy. Each provider has their own approach to managing respite, but it generally has an end date.
'How do you add value to this process that we can’t just do on our own?'
I provide clarity, strategy, coordination, and save families many hours of head scratching, wild goose chases, dashed hopes, and lost sleep. Luck does happen in aged care and many families do find their desired outcome unaided. But when it gets hard; when it doesn’t all fall into place as planned; when there’s no time left and they want to get it right first go ... then my expertise in this area becomes invaluable.
'Do you have any financial consideration (spotters fees, commissions, gifts-in-kind arrangements, etc.) with any aged care providers?'
None. Some years I might receive a Christmas hamper from a larger organisation, but that’s as far as it goes.
'What are your fees?'
I work on a competitive hourly rate, which offers flexibility and value for any level of engagement required. Please enquire for details.
Advisors & Professional Services
- Available in SA
- Case management
- Placement consultants