It can be difficult to know where to start when choosing from the many available aged care facilities for yourself, your mum, dad, friend or loved one. But there are some important factors that can help to clarify your choice. From quality of care and specialised support to food and lifestyle activities, here are five key considerations we recommend when looking for an aged care residence.
What should I consider when choosing from aged care facilities near me?
- How well the aged care facilities align with the Aged Care Quality Standards
The Australian Government’s Aged Care Quality Standards set out the outcomes that you or your loved one have the right to expect from your aged care provider, including dignity and choice, personal and clinical care and how feedback is addressed. Be sure to read through these standards and ask potential aged care facilities how they meet or exceed compliance. At Aurrum, for example, our Living Life care philosophy are centred around meeting these outcomes.
- Access to specialised care needs as required
Your loved one might have certain needs that will guide the choice to the right aged care provider. If they have dementia, for example, then you might seek out an aged care home with the facilities for dementia specific care. You might also seek out an aged care home that will be able to meet culturally specific needs for certain ethnic or religious backgrounds, for example through dietary requirements and activities.
- Quality, variety and flexibility of dining options
Food can be one of the great joys in life, and of course nutrition plays an essential role in wellbeing at any age. Providers such as Aurrum go above and beyond to deliver nutritious and varied dining options and we are very proud of the menu option we offer. We offer seasonal menus for meals developed in consultation with our residents and dieticians. The seemingly small things can also be important for someone who is moving into care – for example, being able to enjoy a cup of tea at any time of day, or enjoying a fresh home-baked muffin for morning tea. Aurrum offers high end coffee throughout our care homes for the enjoyment of residents and their visitors.
- Activities and lifestyle programs
Life certainly shouldn’t end when you or someone you love moves into an aged care home – in fact, some of our residents have a more active social life than people half their age! Be sure to ask about the activities that are on offer at the care homes you’re choosing from, and look for modern programs that include sensory, social and cognitive activities. This can range from outings to art galleries and shopping centres, to massage and aromatherapy, yoga and light strength training through to music and craft therapy.
- The feeling you get when you visit the residential care home
While a care team can tell you the specifics of what you need to know, your first visit to an aged care home can tell you a lot about the general atmosphere and what it’s like to live at the care home. Are staff welcoming, friendly and treating everyone with respect? Do residents seem relaxed and happy? Are the facilities clean, modern and comfortable? Don’t be afraid to book in a second look or to ask to stay a little longer so you can get a proper feel for the place.
As a good rule of thumb for an aged care home you should feel that it will always be easy to receive the support and services you need, whether it’s an appointment with a physiotherapist, a friendly chat or an activity you love doing.
If you find yourself uncertain about aged care facilities, you can also ask whether it’s possible to set up a two-week respite stay at your chosen care home to see if it’s right for your needs. Finding the right aged care home is an important step, but after considering the most important factors it will be far easier to find the perfect fit.