One of the deepest fears about moving into aged care, or moving a loved one into aged care, can be the fear of making the wrong choice. This is a completely understandable apprehension, often based on recent media reports and the recent review into standards in aged care. Fortunately there are brilliant aged care homes to be found right across Australia, which is positive news for anyone needing extra support. 

Why is choosing the right aged care home so important?

Of course, where we live can affect every aspect of our lives: from our everyday comfort, to our health, to our level of independence. This is why it’s essential to know how to find a nursing home or aged care home that will fit your needs. Finding the right fit is more than simply ticking the boxes; it’s finding somewhere where you genuinely feel at home and will be supported in the way you want to live. 

So what makes a good nursing home and how do you find the right place for you or your loved one? It’s a matter of seeking out the right qualities.

10 qualities of exceptional aged care

Let’s look at some of the key characteristics you might look for as you explore how to choose an assisted living facility or aged care home. Some of these qualities are easily measurable, while you may be able to gauge others through personal impressions or perspective.  

Passionate and qualified carers

The quality of carers seems like a given, but this should be one of the first things to look for when choosing an aged care home. To gauge quality, you can consider asking questions around:

  • How carers are chosen and which qualities the provider seeks out
  • How well carers are trained and qualified for their role
  • Whether there are programs or support for care staff, as positive staff morale can benefit everyone in an aged care home.

You might also want to ask about training for more focused care if this is relevant to your needs, such as dementia-specific care.

Modern accommodation

While the built environment is far from the most important quality in an aged care home, it can have a significant impact on quality of care. It’s also one of the quickest and easiest qualities to judge for yourself. By booking in a tour of an aged care home in your area, you could find answers to the following types of questions: 

  • Will I have privacy and a comfortable room?
  • Will I have my own bathroom?
  • Are rooms bright, clean and a comfortable temperature?
  • Will I be able to feel at home in this type of room, and add my own touches?

Nutritionally-balanced yet delicious meals

A move into aged care doesn’t mean your tastebuds need to suffer! We all feel our best when we can eat fresh, nutritious and tasty food, which is why it’s important to look over an aged care food menu at the time of your visit. As an example, we vary our menus seasonally, develop these in consultation with a dietician and also provide tailored dining options to meet specific dietary needs and preferences. Even on a a restricted diet, food can be a joyful experience. And of course – you should be able to enjoy a proper cuppa when you feel like one!  

Access to health professionals

Along with older age can come some aches, pains and more complex health needs. It’s worth checking that you or your loved one can have access to high quality health care professionals as needed, who can support you for the best possible health and wellbeing. Whether this be podiatrists, dietitians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists or speech pathologists, there should never be compromises in the level of care you can expect.

Leisure and lifestyle activities

Most assisted living and aged care homes will have some type of lifestyle program in place, but these can vary widely. It’s a great idea to ask about aged care lifestyle programs and what’s on offer. At Aurrum locations this could include light strength training, craft and art therapy, music therapy, outings to galleries and parks, and entertaining visitors to the care home. After all, knitting and bowls are both good fun – but variety is the spice of life!

Quality amenities

Even the most contemporary and comfortable bedroom can become dull if you’re spending all your time in there. The shared spaces and amenities in an aged care home can make a significant difference to a resident’s quality of life. Amenities like gardens, gym equipment, modern lounge facilities with smart TVs and communal activities can all be excellent ways to grow social connection and interaction.

The support to spend quality time with family

A quality aged care provider can encourage your friends and family members to visit in a number of ways. Look for broad visiting hours, lots of places to sit and chat, and the ability to share a tea or coffee together. Some of our Aurrum Aged Care locations also include private dining rooms, where you can choose to celebrate a birthday or anniversary with friends and family.

Respect and support for your independence

While many people think that a move into aged care can mean a loss of independent living, the right support and care philosophy can actually mean the exact opposite. Look for a team that values your opinion and asks about your preferences and choices from the start, as this reflects care that will be centred around you and your independence. You and your loved one should always feel in control of your own life and care, and feel that any concerns or uncertainties will be addressed. You can see this in our collaborative care plans and person-centred language at Aurrum, and our key question to all our residents “What would you like to do?”

A strong aged care community

This is not a quality that can be easily measured, but you can often get a good sense of community as you tour an aged care home. Do the residents seem happy and connected? Are carers engaged and friendly? Could you see the environment as a place where you’d feel comfortable sitting down and working on a jigsaw puzzle, watching the footy, or getting to know someone new? 

The best aged care home can be different for everyone

There are many questions to ask when choosing an assisted living facility and the options can feel overwhelming – but the right fit will simply feel right. Trust your intuition and talk it through with one another, and you’ll be on the right path to find the best aged care support for yourself or your loved one. 

Aurrum Aged Care is proud to provide extraordinary aged care in NSW and Victoria, and we can happily provide a personalised tour at any of our homes. You can contact us today to book at a time that suits you, or call us on 1800 287 786 for any general enquiries you might have about moving into aged care.