Picking between one aged care facility and another is a big decision for your family to make. Whether you’re investigating them for yourself or a loved one, there are plenty of different factors to consider before moving in. Things are made even more difficult when you discover just how many aged care facilities there are in your area, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. To make things easier, we’ve rounded up a few tips to help you know what to look for in a good aged care facility.
The state of the building
When looking at an aged care facility, you should inspect the state of the building itself. It should be well maintained (regardless of its age), with good disabled access and plentiful parking outside. Inside, note whether the temperature is kept at a comfortable level throughout the different spaces. Also note how large the communal spaces are, and the general level of cleanliness.
What facilities are there?
Next up is checking out the type of facilities that the aged care facility has. Try to get a feel for the rooms, checking whether they feel warm and comfortable, or cold and sterile. Is there plenty of natural light inside, and an outdoor space for the residents to use? What about an onsite fitness facility or entertainment area? For example, Banfields Aged Care facility in Melbourne offers things like a bookable private dining room, a piano lounge, and a men’s club complete with workbench, sports memorabilia, and large screen TV.
Perhaps the most important aspect of a good aged care facility are the carers that work there. Speak with the staff members about their impressions of their workplace and note down whether you feel welcome when you arrive. Also try to find out the carer to resident ratio, and whether they go out of their way to connect with the residents on a more personal level. A friendly and professional staff could be a deciding factor for you and your loved ones.
Are the other residents happy?
When you’re visiting an aged care facility, pay attention to the other residents who live there. What are they like? Whether they’re happy and content, socialising with each other, and taking part in the activities are all signs of a good aged care facility that knows how to treat the residents correctly. Don’t be afraid to speak with the residents as well to find out their thoughts about the facility, and whether they’re happy living there or not, and what they would like to see improved.
The lifestyle services offered
Next up is investigating what services the aged care facility offers. Look for any event calendars to get an idea of the activities offered, but don’t forget to dig in a bit deeper. For example, is there a laundry service and a hairdresser on site? What about services like dental, physiotherapy, and dietitians? Look into the social activities that are organised regularly, and whether there’s any interaction with other groups in the community. Finally, check whether there are regular activities outside of the facility, and whether there’s a bus for transporting the residents.
Of course, it’s important to look at the accreditation that the aged care facility has. In Australia, in order to receive subsidies from the government, the facility should be accredited with the Australian Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. This process involves a deep look into the services and level of care offered by a facility and is a serious stamp of quality that you can trust.
Another point to consider when inspecting aged care facilities is its location. For starters, you probably want a facility that’s located close to other members of your family. Other things to consider are whether there’s a hospital nearby, or other things like a supermarket, church, shopping centre, or library. These things all help the elderly continue to lead an independent lifestyle.
Finally, the last thing to consider when choosing the right aged care facility is how much it costs. Ask about what kind of fee structures the facility has in place, how much of a deposit you’ll have to put down to secure a place, and whether lump sum payments are required. All of this will help you figure out your financial situation, and whether the aged care facility is feasible or not.
Get more stories like this in your inbox!
Sign up for our newsletter and receive regular updates.