What to Consider When Looking for Aged Care

So, your parent or loved one is getting to the stage where they are no longer able to care for themselves and living with you isn’t an option.

With so many new facilities on offer – how do you know what to look for?

Choosing the right facility can be a daunting task at an emotional time for you and your family.

To help you to make an informed choice, we’ve come up with a definitive list to ensure your loved one is well cared for and their needs are met;

  • Accreditation – has the facility received its full accreditation? This is the first consideration, without it, standards may be lacking.
  • Location – it’s vital that the facility is close to home to ensure you are able to visit without having to travel too far. It’s also important to be close by in the event of an emergency.
  • The rooms – the size of the room matters and having an en-suite means more privacy. Check to see if you can personalise the room.
  • Menu – we all love to eat and residents enjoy mealtimes – there should be a good variety of meals offered with lots of fresh produce. Residents with dysphagia should be provided with well presented, appetizing modified food.
  • The building – is it easily accessible? Are residents able to get in and out easily?
  • Cost – whilst the government dictates the daily care fee, different organisations charge different amounts and it’s worth shopping around as some offer better facilities and may be new or recently refurbished.
  • Take a break – respite is a great opportunity to test the waters of an aged care facility whilst giving you a break. You may be eligible for 63 days per year for respite.
  • Staff – when visiting the facility do the staff greet you and smile? Follow your gut instinct it will tell you if it’s a good environment.
  • Health professionals – will residents have access to an OT, GP’s or a Physiotherapist? Having health professionals available to meet assessed needs ensures residents get the appropriate level of care at all times.
  • Is the facility safe and secure – particularly if your loved one is affected by dementia. It’s a good idea to ask questions about the security protocols in place.
  • Range of activities – a variety of programmes and activities ensures residents are able to lead a full and active life.
  • Common areas – are areas available where you can sit and visit outside resident’s rooms or enjoy a meal together? Residents always enjoy a change of scenery even if it’s within the facility. Another consideration is children – having child-friendly areas makes life easier.
  • Gardens – being in nature helps to lift the mood, are there common garden areas?
  • Is the facility pet-friendly – are pets able to visit?
  • Foxtel or WIFI – is there access to Foxtel or a good WIFI system to allow streaming of Netflix or other on-demand platforms?
  • Feedback – are meetings facilitated to give residents and family members the chance to make suggestions or offer feedback? Residents and their families need to be heard and have an active choice in their lifestyle.
  • Finally – reviews, it’s important to read reviews to get as many different perspectives as possible both good and bad.

Meath Care is a not-for-profit organisation providing world-class aged-care services in Kingsley and Como, Western Australia.