An extra $200 a day to keep elderly relatives at home
THE coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is already adding extra confusion to many facets of our lives, but one Ballina woman is worried she might have to pay an extra $200 a day for her mother's care.
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said the Ballina aged care facility her mother resides in had informed her she might have to pay an additional $200 a day on top of normal fees if she takes her mother out of care for more than 52 days a year.
The woman said part of her contract allows her mother to stay overnight in her home ‒ but only for 52 days a year.
She was told by the aged care facility any extra days would incur an additional $200 fee each day.
While she said she understood the aged care facility did not make the rules, she had hoped the government could be lenient on this extra fee charge.
Speaking to The Northern Star, the woman said she would prefer to take her mother out of care if the aged care facility went into lockdown because of COVID-19.
"The advice is to save my days in case there is an outbreak," she said.
"It's a bit confusing, they're not saying we can't take them out but they're more or less saying they don't want us to take them.
"The aged care facility has been very good in keeping me informed, I'm not knocking them but I'm concerned I don't have enough days to keep her at home if necessary.
"I normally bring her home on the weekend but I'm being told I should be reserving the leave."
The woman said she would be contacting the Aged Care Commission to see if they'd received similar concerns.
Meanwhile, Richmond MP Justine Elliot said she would also try to speak with the aged care minister to see if this fee could be waived.
"With cases like that we need to see flexibility," Mrs Elliot said.
"We need to protect the most vulnerable but also allow aged care providers to have flexibility.
"Something like (this added fee) potentially could impact a lot of other people as well.
"I certainly wouldn't want them to charge in those circumstances
"But we need to be adhering to all of the conditions in place, particularly for our elderly who are most vulnerable."