Things to Look for in a Good Aged Care Home
Choosing an aged care facility is a big decision, regardless of whether you’re looking for yourself or for a loved one. There are many factors to consider, from the location, staff qualifications and even food options available. Making the decision even more difficult is the vast number of properties available to view.
Like any home open for inspection, once you start looking at a few it can quickly become difficult to decide between those you liked and those you didn’t.
To make the process easier, here are six things to consider when you start looking at aged care facilities.
1. The building:
When you approach the building, consider accessibility and the condition of the property. It should be easily accessible and well maintained regardless of age. Is the temperature set to a comfortable level? Are the rooms and communal areas of a decent size considering capacity and is it clean? Is the building easy to navigate? If it isn’t a single story property, are there ample lifts and ramps? How about the location and parking for visitors? These are all factors to consider as you begin to inspect potential aged care facilities.
2. The facilities:
After, it’s time to look more closely at the aged care facilities themselves. Start with the rooms. Do they feel welcoming? Are there options for private rooms for those who want their own space, or shared rooms for those wanting company? Have the rooms been personalised? It’s important that residents feel at home.
Next up, investigate the common areas. Ideally there will be different breakaway spaces for residents and visitors, and it should be easy to get from one space to another. It’s also worthwhile finding out if there is any outdoor space for resident use too.
Lastly, you will need to consider any special needs, whether they are pre-existing or potential issues in the future. Do the facilities meet the individual specialist requirements of residents? Is the appropriate equipment available and specialist care either onsite or nearby? If you’re unsure, ask a staff member.
3. The carers:
The carers working in the aged care facility are of paramount importance to the wellbeing of the residents, both physically but also emotionally too. First impressions speak volumes. When you visit, are you made to feel welcome straight away, and are the professional carers easy to identify? Enquire about the staff to resident ratio and the qualifications of the carers to ensure they are adequately equipped to assist residents with their specific needs.
You may also like to ask around to get a better idea about the relationship carers have with the residents. Do the carers make an effort to connect with residents and get to know them personally? How big a role do the carers play in the daily lives of the residents? Each resident’s needs, the style of aged care and atmosphere they’re looking for will be different so evaluate and decide which suits best.
4. The other residents:
The other residents play an important role in the aged care experience. When visiting potential care facilities, take a look around and pay attention to the atmosphere. Do the other residents look happy? Are they socialising and making the most of the activities and facilities on offer to them? If you can, it may even be worthwhile speaking with a few if you can to find out the things they enjoy – perhaps you’ll even make some new friends in the process!
5. The service and lifestyle programs:
When assessing the services and lifestyle programs offered, it’s worthwhile finding out what there is on offer not only at a facility-wide level, but also at a more personalised level. Many facilities offer a diverse range of services including; laundry, podiatry, physiotherapy, audiology, dietitians, dental, speech pathology, hairdressing and beauty services, counselling and more. Don’t forget to ask about the meals too! Is it cooked fresh onsite, and does the menu change daily? Is alcohol permitted or sold on site? Lastly, find out what social events, health and fitness activities, outings and entertainment are provided and if there is a shuttle bus or transport to take residents offsite.
6. The accreditation:
It is mandatory for aged care facilities in Australia to be accredited by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency in order to receive subsidies from the government. For peace of mind, you may like to check that the facility has received this accreditation and to what standard before making your final decision in choosing an aged care facility.
For more information on Japara, our range of word-class aged care facilities and our high quality aged care services, please visit us at japara.com.au or call us today on (03) 9649 2100 for a friendly chat with one our staff.