Brisbane-based Invest Blue Financial Planner, Shaun Akroyd, understands the complexities of moving a parent into aged care, therefore, he takes care of the financial challenges so that you can focus on what matters.
Christine Flynn will always be grateful to Brisbane-based Financial Planner Shaun Akroyd who proved instrumental when Christine moved her mother, Joyce, into an aged care facility.
Moving Joyce, then in her early 90s, was a decision that Christine says was fraught with guilt and involved rapid decision-making at a time when emotionally, she felt ill-equipped. Here, Christine explains why having Shaun onside provided her with a ‘phenomenal safety net’.
Christine Flynn’s expertise in governance is well sought after. She holds several national and international board roles. Christine brings to these roles many years of experience in the public sector in Brisbane and Canberra.
And yet, she’s the first to admit that when it came to the complicated regulation and legislation in aged care, she felt completely out of her depth.
Christine set up a meeting with Invest Blue’s Shaun Akroyd after being given his business card by a staff member at one of the aged care facilities.
There was much to discuss in relation to Joyce’s financial matters and Christine and Shaun agreed that the priority was to move Joyce into comfortable surroundings with expert care available and to keep her financially ‘in the black’ for her remaining years.
Unfortunately, Joyce was a high risk for future falls and living independently was no longer viable. Christine had a handful of nursing homes in mind for her mum but when the phone call came about a vacancy (in a nearby facility known to Joyce as her husband had been there), Christine had just 24 hours to decide.
When the day came for the move itself, Christine says it was ‘the worst day of my life.’ She knew it was the right decision – there had been too many falls to make any alternative safe for Joyce but that did not make it an easy one.
Christine recalls crying on the phone to a family member and feeling weighed down by tremendous guilt.
“Your heart tells you to do one thing and your head tells you to do the other”, she says.
Joyce, who had always been a strong, independent, and forthright woman was also very resistant to the move. Joyce became quite accusatory which Christine understood but again, it made the situation more challenging.
Having Shaun on hand was a godsend for Christine.
“Mum was very distressed, and I was under such emotional pressure. With Shaun, I was certain that I was working with someone who had her financial affairs all taken care of which allowed me to deal with the emotional journey.”
She adds, “I’ve worked as a professional in a range of regulated and legislatively framed organisations but at the time I was putting Mum in the nursing home, I couldn’t get my head around it quickly or do what needed to be done.”
Shaun understood the complexity of understanding regulation and legislation around aged care and aged care homes. He was able to oversee everything on Joyce’s behalf such as reporting to the DVA (Joyce was a Department of Veterans’ Affairs widow) as well as keep an eye on the financial matters pertaining to the nursing home.
“He focused on ensuring Mum’s needs were met. It was important to her that there be enough money for her to live on, but she also wanted an estate left behind as a legacy when she passed. I felt 100% certain that Shaun was across it,” Christine says.
Christine was grateful to have her mother’s financial affairs in such trusted and capable hands.
“Shaun’s not only very personable, but he takes time to build the relationship with you as an individual and to understand the family dynamic. I think he’s absolutely gold.”
Christine has a lot of friends with elderly parents who are grappling with the same challenges she faced several years ago, and she readily refers them to Shaun.
Despite Joyce’s concerns about the quality of life she would have in the facility, she had several happy years there. She had a lovely large space to herself, and her family visited often. Her children, her grandchildren and even great-grandchildren continued to provide much joy in the later years of her life. Joyce also appreciated the care she received from the staff.
And when she passed away peacefully in late 2022 at the age of 96, the place that Christine had chosen was very much home for Joyce.
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