Supporting a person living with dementia

Living with dementia can be unsettling and frustrating, but independence and quality of life can still be achieved with the right support and a few changes.

With almost half a million people living with dementia in Australia, and another 1.6 million people involved in their care, it is likely that we are all impacted in some way.

The end of September was Dementia Action week, putting a spotlight on how to support a person living with dementia as well as support for the carers. Understanding the experience of dementia, and making a few changes can have a beneficial impact on the person’s quality of life and help them to live more independently.

When we think of dementia, we think of a person’s loss of memory and the confusion this may cause with identifying loved ones or timeframes. But people living with dementia may also have different sensory perceptions, which makes them see things differently.

Dementia Australia has a range of useful tools and tips for creating a dementia-friendly environment so that the home remains familiar, but is more accessible and safer. Some of the top tips include:

  • Consider colour contrasts between doors and walls and between doors and architraves
  • Perhaps have a different colour door for the toilet
  • Put up signs (in Arial or Helvetica font) or photos to indicate the function of a room
  • Use larger size light and power switches
  • Set up a whiteboard or calendar to post notes and reminders.

Sometimes, the home environment is not safe enough and a move into residential care may be needed. When selecting the right provider, ask lots of questions to determine how the provider can meet the needs of a person with dementia.

If you are impacted by dementia or you are worried about a family member or friend, take a look at the range of information and tools at Dementia Australia’s website And call us on 03 5227 7777 to make an appointment to talk about the support available with Home Care Packages or residential care, what it will cost and how to manage your cashflow to pay for the care you need.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is of a general nature only and has been prepared without consideration of your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making any decisions, you should consider the appropriateness for your personal investment objectives, financial situation or individual needs. We recommend you see a financial adviser, registered tax agent or legal adviser before making any decisions based on this information. Current at 20 September 2021.

Moving into aged care – do I have to sell my home?

If moving into residential aged care, do you really have to sell your home? What are your choices? Myths and misunderstanding about the rules can add to anxiety and confusion.

Moving into residential aged care is stressful and can be compounded by anxiety around selling the family home. Some people find it hard to part with their home or may not be ready to sell. This can raise concerns about how to afford the fees.

Knowing that you have choices, and accessing advice to understand these choices may help to reduce stress and create a better outcome.

Do you have to sell?

When faced with paying several hundred thousand dollars for a room in aged care, panic can set in. However, selling your former home is not your only option. You may choose to sell, or you may opt to retain the home.

Moving into residential care is effectively shifting into a new home. Each time you move, you can choose to buy or rent. Renting allows you to live in a home you can’t afford to buy, or don’t wish to buy.

With residential care you have the same options. Your room price is usually quoted as a lump sum which can be converted into a daily fee using a specified rate of interest. Paying this daily fee (or “renting” the room) may allow you to keep your former home if that is your preference.


Catherine agrees to pay $600,000 for her room in residential care. At the current interest rate of 4.04% per annum, this converts to $66.41 per day (plus other ongoing fees). This gives Catherine the choice to “buy” the right to live in the room for $600,000 or “rent” the room for $66.41 per day. She could also choose part buy and part rent.

When to make a choice?

The decision whether to sell or keep the former home has many personal aspects, but accessing advice can help to reduce some stress.

Once you have been offered a room, you will be asked to sign a Resident Agreement. This is a contract outlining your rights and responsibilities and the obligations of the care provider. It includes the fees you can be asked to pay.

This agreement should specify the room price and show what this converts to as a daily fee. But you don’t have to make a choice then. You have 28 days after moving into care to let the provider know whether you want to pay the full price as a lump sum (refundable accommodation deposit – RAD) or daily rent (daily accommodation payment – DAP) or a combination of the two.

The 28 days gives you time to seek good advice to make an informed choice.

As Accredited Aged Care ProfessionalsTM we have helped many clients to make this choice. We help to find a choice that is affordable, as well as works best for the family and protects the value of the estate.

Call us today on 03 5227 7777 to discuss how we can help make your aged care experience less stressful.


This document has been prepared for the general information of investors and does not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person.

While reasonable care has been exercised and the statements contained herein are based on information believed to be accurate and reliable, neither Synchron nor its directors, employees, agents or Authorised Representatives  shall be liable (unless otherwise required by law) for any loss or damage suffered or caused to any person or corporation resulting from or contributed to by any error or omission from such statements including any loss or damage caused by any fault or negligence on the part of Synchron or otherwise”.

Before making any decisions, you should consider the appropriateness for your personal investment objectives, financial situation or individual needs. We recommend you see a financial adviser, registered tax agent or legal adviser before making any decisions based on this information. Current at 1 July 2021.

How might coronavirus impact your portfolio?

Stylised coronavirus

We’ve all seen the news, and we’ve all read the articles. In fact, some may have been caught up in the toilet paper frenzy. But how do we make sense of the coronavirus fears when it comes to our portfolios? If you’ve been living in a cave you may not have noticed that share markets around the world have been hit pretty hard by panic selling due to reduced trade, restrictions of movement of millions of people, travel bans, and more. What does this mean for your portfolios, how long will it go on for, and will everything be OK?

While we’ve seen other viruses impact markets, I can’t remember SARS, the bird flu, swine flu, or any other disease impact markets to this extent. I’m 100% certain I didn’t see people punching each other over trolleys full of toilet paper. The difference this time around has been the pure contagiousness of the disease. This single factor has meant that in order to prevent a lot of deaths, authorities have moved to stop the movement of people to a staggering extent. Literally tens of millions of people have been unable to leave various regions, such as Wuhan in China, and Lombardy in Italy.

This unprecedented halt to travel, large gatherings, etc has seen a slump in global trade, with some sectors feeling the brunt more than others. Obviously those companies in the travel industry are suffering a serious reduction in passenger numbers, and this will translate directly to their profits. Decreased activity in Chinese factories has reduced the demand for raw materials, affecting mining companies. Restricted travel and general fears of contracting the virus has seen many people stay home rather than go shopping, to work, to restaurants and the like. 

The end result of this will be slowdowns in the global economy in general, and various countries’ economies in particular. Here in Australia, it looks likely that we will head into a recession, if we aren’t there already. A recession is defined as two quarters in a row of negative growth in the economy. In other words, things are going backwards. Because this is reported on the back of data from previous periods, we may well be in a recession before we even know about it. Is a recession the end of the world though?

Remember the Global Financial Crisis? That was bad. Plain and simple. There were serious structural issues at play within the banking systems around the world that meant that lending to businesses, individuals, and between banks effectively stopped. Many companies went bankrupt as a result of not being able to refinance debt, even though their business was otherwise fine. This, although scary, is not another Global Financial Crisis. We’ve already seen governments try to contain the virus, launch, or at least propose new spending measures to stimulate economies and try to do everything in their power to stave off recessions. While these activities may or may not work in the short term, what I am confident of is that they will work eventually. 

It is important to take what the media portrays with a grain of salt. While markets fell heavily last night in the US, as of writing the Australian market is slightly ahead today, and these wild swings will probably continue for some time yet. The fact that markets are still ahead of where they were at the start of 2019 has conveniently been ignored by most press articles while they concentrate on the amount of money being ‘wiped off the ASX’. These reports are unhelpful as they feed fears of those that are already fearful, potentially prompting them to sell, and the market falls more, creates more panic and so on. Just like the toilet paper fiasco we’re also witnessing.

I don’t want to be seen to be downplaying what is going on totally. Businesses will be affected, economies will slow, but I believe that this will be relatively short-lived due to the measures of government stimulus packages around the world. Once coronavirus has dissipated somewhat, a vaccine is announced, a treatment is developed, or it is somehow contained, these packages should result in a fairly swift recovery.

So? What do you do?

You stay the course. Activating your fears by selling your portfolio now will result in much more significant losses than staying the course and watching the market eventually right itself when the panic subsides. After all, is BHP, Apple, Commonwealth Bank, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google) etc significantly worse companies today than they were two weeks ago? I don’t think so. This is a time when fund managers start to look at the cash they hold in their portfolios and rub their hands together to buy up bargains because company shares may be a lot cheaper today than what they were two weeks ago, and fundamentally nothing has changed for that company.

We’re still here after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. We will still be here when coronavirus has had its day in the sun. Importantly, follow the advice of official health channels, not what you read on Facebook or

The Australian Government has provided some great resources. If you are concerned, interested in debunking what Trevor said down at the pub, or generally want to learn more about the virus, you can find more at

Stay safe, and educated.