Some decisions in life are hard to make, but the outcomes are not that important. Other decisions are more significant, yet not necessarily harder. Selecting the right aged care home doesn’t need to be difficult.
Figuring out what you’re after in a home and making an educated decision will help find the right place for you. This process can be made easier with the input of family members or friends. Not only can they offer you their opinions, but they can assist you with the researching, calling around and interviewing process.
Here are some things to consider when making this significant decision:
Does it meet your needs?
Often people opt for the closest aged home, and there’s good reason for that (you’ll be in a familiar neighbourhood and potentially nearby to family and friends). However, consider factors other than its location.
As this will be your new home, it’s important you feel comfortable and well looked after. Are a variety of health care professionals available and is a registered nurse always on duty? Are there facilities such as a lush garden or a quiet prayer room? Is the home easy to get around, or does it feel like a giant maze? Will you be able to have your own room, or can you share with someone else to keep you company? What are the meals like, and can you try them before you agree to move in?
What activities are on offer?
As well as being a place to rest your head, your home should also provide enjoyment. Moving into an aged care home can be a great opportunity to try out new activities and make new friends. It can make you feel connected to a community, rather than spending too much time by yourself.
Ask if there are regular scheduled activities within the home, such as a singing group, movie nights or craft days. Are there physical activities you can do, such as being part of a walking group or dance club? If you’ve got a specific hobby, make sure you ask if it can be accommodated.
Are there group outings, so you can regularly leave the home? Are there scheduled visitors to the home, such as groups of primary school kids or performers?
What are the staff like?
The staff will have a huge influence on how you feel about your new home. It’s a good idea to meet them in person, ideally with someone else so you can get their opinion too. Are they caring and friendly? Do they seem interested in you? Or do they seem overworked and rushed?
Ask about how many care staff work at the home and what their duties are. Are some of them specialty carers, and what training have they done? It may feel a bit rude to ask these questions, but it’s not about being nosey – this information will help you decide what home is best for you.
What is the cost?
How much it will cost is obviously a major factor in deciding on a home. When you compare the prices of several homes, consider how much each charges for accommodation and what the additional daily fees are.
You may be eligible for financial help to pay for your home. This depends on your income and assets, and can mean that you either won’t have any accommodation costs, or only need to pay for part of them.