Home could play bigger role in funding in-home care: Homesafe

Dianne Shepherd

Dianne Shepherd

The ability for retirees to fund quality in-home care could be improved if more retirees could access their home equity debt-free, according to leading equity release provider Homesafe Wealth Release.

In-home care could play a major role in reducing pressure on the aged care system, which is showing signs of strain: A recent PwC study, commissioned and supported by Australian Unity, predicts an additional $24 billion in capital costs and an additional $13bn in annual operating costs will be needed to meet projected gaps in resi­dential aged care, in-home and community care and hospital beds by 2025 (assuming today’s policy settings).

Dianne Shepherd, General Manager of Homesafe, says the family home could provide better access to aged care services and potentially alleviate pressure on the system by allowing more retirees to fund in-home care. “Many retirees want to fund their aged care needs, including medical needs, nursing, and cleaning, while staying in their own home and still maintaining control over their future estate or financial planning needs.

“Retirees who own their home should be able to fund the care they need, without accumulating debt and adding additional financial stress.

“The ability to access home equity now without any interest payment burden or obligation to sell into the future meets shared goals of government, the aged care sector, and retirees.”

Ms Shepherd said it is important that any equity release option retirees may consider protects their right to remain in their home. “The right of homeowners to stay in their homes must be sacrosanct.

“Using debt products such as reverse mortgages to access aged care is often seen as a risk by retirees because they are concerned about such facilities eroding equity in their homes.”

Homesafe provides a debt-free alternative via a home equity release solution where the homeowner agrees with Homesafe to sell a share of the future sale proceeds of their home in return for a lump sum payment today – the home is only sold when the homeowner chooses, or after the death of the surviving homeowner, with the unsold share of the sale proceeds returned to their Estate. Homesafe is not entitled to receive any more than the agreed share.

Ms Shepherd said: “It’s essential senior homeowners can retain some control over the future equity in their home, in the event their lifestyle needs or circumstances change.”

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