How to choose the right aged care facility for your loved one – Questions To Ask
Deciding to place your loved one into an aged care home can be a daunting experience. You will want the best care for your loved one and maybe experiencing a lot of anxiety around finding the most suitable home, that can provide the right support, for you and your family.
There are many factors to consider when seeking an aged care home, and many families & older Australians requiring support are overwhelmed at the prospect of residential care and have no idea where to begin.
We have compiled a list of questions you might find useful asking when touring through a prospective aged care residence;
1. What is the providers care philosophy?
Consider how the providers aged care philosophy aligns with your family’s beliefs; Do they talk about partnering with resident and family members to provide an individual and tailored support plan, allowing for a resident-focus care approach?
2. What medical staff are on hand to provide support?
Are there Registered Nurses and care staff on staff 24 hrs to provide support? Is there a visiting resident GP?
3. Does the residence offer a secure environment?
Safety and security of residents living in residential care is of utmost importance. Are the front doors locked / keypad coded to limit access to just anyone coming in off the street?
4. Where is the closest Emergency department?
In the event of an emergency, you want your loved one to be well taken care of and not too far from a hospital.
5. Is there a lifestyle program available at the residence?
A lifestyle team is very important for residents to engage in activities to help keep their minds and bodies active throughout the day. Are activities available 7 days a week? What sort of activities are available? Eg bus outings, physical activities etc
6. What meals are provided and where are the meals cooked?
Food is a very big part of our older comrades lives – some providers import their meals from off-site commercial kitchens and don’t offer meal choices.
The Richardson has an on-site commercial-grade kitchen and a 5-star chef who curates a specialised 4-weekly meal planner, with meal choices for our residents.
7. What is the home’s policy on visitors and visiting hours?
Visitors are vital to older citizens living in residential aged care, it is important to determine if there are any limitations or restrictions on visiting hours or how many visitors can attend at any given time.
8. What is the provider’s philosophy on Residents living with Dementia?
What level of support and how does the care team provide support to residents living with dementia – how may this impact on other residents in the organization?
9. Does the aged care provider offer all levels of support from minimal / low support to palliative care?
A move at the end of life stage can be detrimental and traumatic for the resident and their family members. This is a big one to consider when looking for a “forever home” for your loved one, The Richardson provides Ageing in place support, whilst trying to maintain as much of our residents’ independence as possible.
10. What payment options does the provider offer?
Does the provider allow a RAD (Refundable Accommodation Deposit) / DAP (Daily accommodation payment) or 100% DAP options or are there minimum lump sums required on entry?
At The Richardson, we offer a variety of payment options.
11. Are there exit fees or refurbishment costs?
The RAD is Australian Government guaranteed to be returned to the Resident or estate. Some providers may charge an amount to refurbish the room upon exit. The Richardson has no exit fees.
12. What are the ongoing daily and additional Services Fee?
The Daily Care Fee is set by the Government and every aged care provider is obligated to charge the same rate in order to provide a basic level of daily living and care; residences that offer more lifestyle options to provide a higher level of lifestyle and therefore the best quality of life, charge an additional services fee – what is this and what is included?
13. Most importantly! Ask yourself these..
- How does the environment feel for you? Is it a calm, warm and loving atmosphere for your loved one?
- How does the Team interact with you and others in the building? Are they friendly? Warm? Welcoming?
- Are they interested in you and your loved one’s interest or care needs?
- Are they asking you what YOU WANT in a home? Are they listening?
- Do the other residents you encounter along your tour look happy and well cared for?
- Feedback from other residents and their families is the best way to tell – is the provider happy for you to chat with a resident you encounter?
Here at the Richardson, we understand that the decision to place your loved one into care in the first instance is a big one and we are here to guide you through the process and help with a seamless transition for your loved one.