We can spend so much time choosing what we think is the ‘right’ Aged Care Home for our parent(s). But what can we do when we realise either, the home is not the best fit for our parents, or worse, the Aged Care home has deteriorated since we moved our loved one in.
As the Social Media Specialist for Homestyle Aged Care, this very fact became apparent to my family, that after nearly 8 years in the same aged care home – not a Homestyle Home, as my Mum’s dementia advanced, she was no longer in a good place. My Mum’s hygiene was neglected, she was not stimulated with any activities or dementia programs, she lost an enormous amount of weight and she was bored and sad. It is a brutally hard and depressing realisation, to come to this point when your mum has been in that home many years, and it all started out well. Through my association with Homestyle, I wished my mum was cared for in a Homestyle Aged Care home.
I have worked as a contractor to Homestyle for a few years and I can say overwhelmingly, each story or event I have covered, from interviewing the Lifestyle Co-ordinator to the Admin Assistant or even the Nurse, each and every one of those staff members has shown compassion, care, respect and absolute genuine heartfelt interest in the residents. Each occasion celebrated is thought out, from decorations to costumes and themed food. I had no idea Aged Care Homes celebrated the AFL Grand Final or invited families to Wine and Cheese celebration nights, because at my Mum’s home they only ever ran a fete once a year to raise funds for the home. I could count on one hand in eight years when my Mum was taken in a bus to the cinema or an outing, because it just never happened. At Homestyle the residents are stimulated with a choice of varying activities, have fun and interesting outings such as going fishing, or to the beach, work on team projects such as knitting poppies for Remembrance Day and have a wide variety of guests and exhibitions visit each home to entertain, encourage and motivate the residents.
I have also visited a Homestyle home and had lunch there. Not only was the food delicious, but the portion sizes were a plenty, unlike my Mum’s home where the portions were tiny and the menu rarely varied from casseroles.
In my Mum’s last month in her 90thyear, we started to look into would it be a viable option to move her. It would be huge to move her after so many years in the same home, but we felt we needed to look into this option after meetings with management regarding her care, lack of stimulation and incidents we became aware of. That decision was taken from us when our Mum passed away end of 2018. In our next blog, we share how you can move a loved one to another Aged Care Home.
Jennifer Brosnan manages the Social Media for Homestyle Aged Care.
Many of our residents at our Homes are living with dementia, and are fully supported and cared for. If you would like to visit one of our homes to see the activities and facilities, we have in place for our dementia residents, please contact us on (03) 9559 0400, or contact us here.