“Getting my mother-in-law into aged care was a nightmare; it is a complicated process,” explains author Gail Miller. “Right at the time when she’s needing emotional support, I’m drowning in paperwork; some people have taken long service leave to manage the process.”
5 Easy Ways to Solve the Aged Care Puzzle takes just one-hour to read and is written in a way the reader can easily relate to. It explains where to begin, what to consider and how using professionals can make the process easier. The five professionals Ms Miller includes are: a professional organiser, a mobile lawyer, an aged care placement consultant, an aged care financial planner and a funeral director.
“A professional organiser helps with strategies and using an aged care placement consultant is the best money I’ve ever spent,” she says. “You get bamboozled by legal language and a lawyer can also help with the advanced care directive.”
She believes the book will save people time and avoid making mistakes. “Why not get the help you need from experienced professionals; they’ve done it all before;” she points out.
To help break up a serious subject, the book is illustrated with cartoons by David Kowalick and also included are anecdotes from real life. “It’s so important for you to realise that you’re not alone in this tricky transitional journey,” explains Ms Miller. Many of the anecdotes may be all too familiar to many, such as her friend telling her she received a phone call at exactly 8.15am each morning when her father-in-law didn’t have anything on his calendar.
Another highlights the challenges of persuading a loved one to spend money on mobility aids. “Dad’s movement was severely limited due to Motor Neurone Disease, however he was still resisting spending money on an electric wheelchair that he needed. ‘I’m saving that money for a rainy day,’ he would say.” He finally relented when the family told him ‘It’s bucketing with rain right now.’
Ms Miller says it's tricky being a part of the 'Sandwich G'. "We’re sandwiched between our kids who are possibly still finding their way and our parents who are possibly losing theirs," she says.
Her advice is to act now before there is a crisis. “You’re trying to organise a complicated process at the worst time of your life,” she says. “Its at a time when your loved one needs your emotional support.”
While the professionals Ms Miller has included in the book are South Australian based, there are similar professionals across the Australia, and they can be found by using directories such as the Aged Care Guide.
5 Easy Ways to solve the Aged Care Puzzle is available in print or pdf from the website.