How to compare and choose aged care homes
Start with the most important things
For many, choosing an aged care home comes down to budget.But even if a home has higher fees than you can afford, there might be room to negotiate.
So rather than just cost, start by thinking about what you need from your new home
- Do you like the location?
- Does it provide services you need or value?
- Will the room suit your personal and health needs?
If you find a home that ticks your most important boxes, and the cost is in the ballpark of your budget, it’s good to arrange a visit.
Arranging a visit
Visiting is a great way to see what a place is really like. Even if you’re still in hospital or find it difficult getting out, see if a family member or friend can visit on your behalf. Get them to take some photos too.
Arranging a tour is simple. Once you’ve narrowed down your list of places, call to arrange a personal tour or book online. This is also a good time to enquire about room availability.
If you’re considering a few places, try to visit around the same time. It’s more convenient, and it’ll be easier to remember and compare.
What to bring
If you have had an Aged Care Assessment, make sure you bring your assessment code with you, or mention it when calling to book the tour. This will help the home assess your individual needs. You need an Aged Care Assessment to access government-subsidised care.
When you inspect aged care accommodation it’s always important to trust your gut instinct and take a list of ‘must haves’ to help you make the right decision. Some people make a list to rate each home, as it’s easy to get different places mixed up.
Some questions you can ask yourself include:
- Is it a nice and friendly home environment?
- Is the staff attentive, proactive and well qualified?
- Are the rooms clean, comfortable and big enough?
- Do they have an interesting social calendar?
- Do they provide a nutritious and appropriate food menu?
- Do they provide regular exercise and outdoor activities?
- Do they encourage family and friends to visit?
Keep in mind that the home wants your business, and will try to schedule visits while activities are happening and the place is looking at its best. Ask how often events and activities take place, and what staffing levels are like on weekends.
Arrange an Aged Care Assessment
Read next: Waiting lists, signing up and moving in