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How to Identify the Most Suitable Aged Care Facility for Your Loved One

The recent government regulations have removed many of the differences that existed between various aged care residential facilities in Australia. For example, there is no distinction between high care and low care aged care facilities at present. However, you will still need to consider various factors, when it comes to selecting the best residential aged care facility for your loved ones. It might be worthwhile going through the resident handbook to ascertain many details.

Some of the most important aspects to consider are:

  • The Affordability: Residents typically need to contribute by giving lump sum bonds or equivalent instalments before they enter the facility. This amount could vary between various facilities. In addition, residents will need to pay the daily fee arrangements specified by the government. Ensure that you can afford these payments. Also, enquire about the circumstances under which the resident would need to move from the facility.
  • The Location: Always look for a facility that is close to your home. Elderly residents usually have a lot of time on their hands and look forward to visits from their family members and friends. Therefore, ensure that the facility is nearby. Also, look for a facility that enables the residents to visit the local church, events, shops etc. Check the opportunities that the facility provides for residents in terms of outings, interactions with the local community etc.
  • The Reputation: Check the reputation of the facility on websites like www.accreditation.org.au. This site lists accreditation reports on various aged care facilities in the country. Similarly, seek references from friends and colleagues. In particular, heed the references given by people with loved ones staying in aged care facilities at present.
  • The Meals: Check the kinds of meals the facility provides. Examine their menu. Ask the facility how often they change the items listed on their menu. Enquire about whether they accommodate the requests of the residents, based on their individual tastes and preferences. Ascertain whether you could join the residents for a meal occasionally. Also, check whether the facility provides opportunities for the residents to purchase items like wine or beverages too.
  • The Security Arrangements: Select a facility that enables its residents to access the outdoor areas e.g. gardens etc. easily. Also, check the security arrangements provided. In particular, look for call bells whereby the resident could communicate in emergencies and the fire safety arrangements. In addition, see whether the facility provides a safe for the resident to store any valuables they might possess.
  • The Health and Wellness Arrangements: Safeguarding the residents’ health requirements should be mandatory for any facility you select. Some aspects to enquire about include:
  •  Whether the residents have access to doctors, dentists and other health experts (especially in emergencies or after hours)
  • The provision of rehabilitation, post-acute and palliative care
  • The provision of various wellness and alternative therapy programs
  • The Activities: Check whether the facility provides wireless internet facilities to enable residents to communicate with friends and family virtually. Ascertain the kinds of activities the facility conducts for the residents based on their lifestyle and interests. In particular, ask whether the facility conducts regular meetings between residents and their families.

The best way to examine aged care nursing homes is to take a comprehensive tour of the facility. Check the manner in which the staff and the residents interact. Do the residents seem happy and well looked after? Does the staff take proper care of its residents? Is the facility clean and odourless? Does it appear warm, comfortable and inviting? Consider how you would like staying in a facility as the one you’re visiting. It might be worthwhile making a few visits to the facility, before you finalise your decision.