Finding the right aged care facility for our elderly is truly a delicate and sensitive decision to make, as they deserve the best type of care there is.
As the senior members of our families age, their needs may change. They may need specialised care, especially if they’re already experiencing illnesses that come with age (Dementia, Parkinson’s, etc.).
The truth is, our loved ones may need a higher level of care than we are able to provide. This is why it is absolutely critical for us to choose the right aged care facility that’ll fit their needs.
Question is, with all the aged care facilities out there, what are the important details to note about the right facility? What should you look for? How to tell a good facility from a bad one?
Read on and learn the answers to these and more!
I. What Do Your Loved Ones Want?
Before anything else, consult with your loved ones regarding the things they’re looking for in their new home. After all, they’re the ones who’ll have to live in it.
Consider the things they’re looking for and make a list to take note of all their requests. It is very important that they feel happy and comfortable, no matter which facility they move to.
II. What Type of Care do They Need?
After considering what they want, you now have to assess what level of care they’ll need.
For complex/higher level of care:
- ▪ Make sure the facility you choose has a registered nurse on duty at all times.
- ▪ Ensure the facility offers access to allied health professionals (Podiatrists, Dietician, Speech Pathologist, etc.) and services on a regular basis.
For lower care needs:
- ▪ Make sure a registered nurse visits the aged care facility every few days to check on the residents. The nurse should also advise the facility care staff on how to best address any changes in terms of care and welfare for the residents.
- ▪ If your loved one has dementia, ensure that the facility has special areas that are safe and secure for them to enjoy.
III. What Does the Aged Care Facility Look Like?
How aged care facilities look like can be a clear indicator of the quality of care they provide and what it’s probably like to live there.
When visiting facilities, be sure they are clean inside and out. You don’t want your loved ones living in a dirty environment, which could possibly cause more harm than good.
You should also consider if the facility has a warm, home-like feel. Don’t be easily persuaded by modern-looking facilities, as you want your loved ones to feel at home as much as possible.
They need to feel comfortable and safe and be able to have the things they hold dear to them displayed in their own private space. Look for a facility that resonates with your loved one and has that home ambiance.
IV. Aged Care Facilities: Private vs Shared Rooms
Some aged care facilities only offer either private or shared rooms, while some have a mix of both. If you’re loved one is a private person and wishes to have his or her own space, a single or private room is the way to go.
On the other hand, if your loved one prefers being in the company of others, then a shared room may be the best option.
However, if your loved one is sharing a room, make sure they still have enough private space.
You should also consider where your loved one’s room is located in relation to the aged care home’s other facilities like the dining area or the common area.
If your loved one has difficulty in moving around, then it is best to have him/her in a room that’s close to all the main areas of the facility.
V. Lifestyle Activities
Try and talk to the lifestyle representative of the aged care facility and find out what they have in terms of lifestyle activities.
Common activities may include social gatherings, games (bingo, puzzles, etc.), arts and crafts, daily walks, and heaps more.
Everyone needs stimulation to keep the mind active and reduce boredom – which is particularly important to the elderly.
VI. The Right Aged Care Staff
Talk to the staff and observe how they interact with the residents.
The staff must be professional, friendly, caring, approachable, and be helpful when questions are asked, among other things.
The aged care staff of the facility you’ll choose will play an important role in your loved one’s everyday life. It’s why each person working in the facility should be well-equipped and qualified for the job.
Your attention to detail can make a big difference!
Your loved ones deserve the best aged care available. They deserve a place where they can feel safe, valued, and welcomed.
The aged care facility that you’ll be choosing must treat your loved ones with respect, and see to it that they receive the care they need on a daily basis.
And YOU can make sure they do, just by knowing the things to look for in an aged care facility.
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