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SeniorScape chats with Kerrie O’Brien from North Shore Aged Care Consulting.  Kerrie is an Aged Care Consultant who assists individuals and their families navigate the complexities of aged care and find the most appropriate Retirement and Aged Care options available.  Engaging an Aged Care Consultant like Kerrie, can make broaching the subject of aged care less daunting and potentially facilitate great communication.


1.What is your background? My background is in financial planning both in Australia and the UK.

2.Why did you start NSRACC? I started NSRACC as I could see that there was a need for greater assistance in the aged care space to help families navigate their aged care options. I love helping people, so with the benefit of my financial planning expertise, I am able to approach aged care from a financial and more holistic perspective.

Making decisions around downsizing to Independent Living and available aged care options (particularly transitioning to Residential Aged Care) can be confusing and stressful and my aim is to provide a service to reduce the stress involved in the search and transition process. I have chosen to be an expert on all things aged care as this is an area that is not only interesting but will continue to become important for our increasingly ageing population.

I have geographically specialised in all Retirement Village, Home Care Package and Residential Aged Care options on the North Shore, Northern Beaches and surrounds so that I have been able to personally visit all options and am able to keep abreast of changes or new options in these areas.

4.Why is it beneficial to use an Aged Care Consultant?  So as to reduce stress and the time involved in the research process.  Having personally visited over 100 Retirement Villages and Residential Aged Care facilities I have an extensive knowledge of the amenities, types of rooms, food and activity offerings, all costs as well as care services available.  Through my network of contacts I am often also first to know of vacancies and may also be able to negotiate RADs, additional service fees and arrange extended respite. In relation to Residential Aged Care every facility is different and not all are appropriate for all care needs and indeed budgets. I am quickly able to shortlist the most appropriate options based on my clients’ care needs, budget and location preferences.

5.Why is it so important to plan ahead?  Planning ahead usually provides greater options.  It also provides time to arrange tours so as to make a decision on your preferred options. This allows for potential waitlisting so as to make a move when suitable.  Units in Retirement Villages and rooms in Residential Aged Care are not always available, so planning avoids the need to have to make a hurried decision which may or may not be appropriate.

6.What are the most important things people should look for when choosing Independent living or an Aged care facility?  In terms of both of these options a sense of community and caring staff. In terms of aged care a facility that best meets with current and potential future care needs and which offers a high standard of care.

7.What are important financial considerations when choosing aged care and where do you start? You need to ensure that the costs of aged care are affordable on an ongoing basis, that Centrelink means tested care fee documentation is submitted if relevant and ideally consideration should be given as to the optimisation of aged care funding.

8.What do you enjoy most about being an Aged Care Consultant? Helping families in all types of scenarios to find the most appropriate options, as well as obtaining the best outcomes for families and their loved ones.

If you would like to get in touch with Kerrie, you can contact her via her website or on 0431 606 590.