Making the decision to move a loved one into Aged Care is certainly stressful. What should you look for? Which location? Will your parents be happy there? Initially you need to look at location and once you have decided on that draw up a list of a few facilities to visit. Take this list with you:
- Are you welcomed by staff on your arrival?
- How are the staff interacting with the residents and families?
- What is the ratio of staff to residents? This will fluctuate on the needs and care required of the residents. It can be anywhere from 1 to 6 or 1 staff member to 10 residents.
- What is the skill mix of staff? Are there registered nurses around the clock? How many enrolled nurses and carers’?
- What outside excursions does the facility run and how often?
- Are there a wide range of activities offered? Does the program reflect the cultural and/or spiritual needs that my loved one has?
- Check the dining room. What are the meals and snacks like? Try and visit during a mealtime and look at the menu, food variety and portion sizes.
- Ask to look at a room. What furniture is provided and what are you allowed to bring? How much room is there? Do you need to pay for a phone?
- What is the state of the shared communal areas? Are there private areas for families to sit around and share a conversation?
- What condition is the facility in? Is it bright and well maintained? Is the reception area inviting? Is there a garden for residents to stroll in?
- Are families encouraged to attend general meetings. Look at minutes of previous meeting to see what was discussed and if issues were addressed.
There may also be questions pertinent to your particular circumstances so have a think before you begin your visits and any specific additions you may have. Take your time and write notes straight after your visit so you can look back on later, compare facilities and make a decision.
There’s no doubt that this is a big decision and first and foremost you want your loved ones to be happy and settled. It is important to be prepared with your checklist so you can rest assured you have made the best and right decision for you and your loved ones going into Aged Care.
If you would like to organize a tour of one of our Melbourne Aged Care Homes in Victoria, please contact us on (03) 9559 0400