Top 33 List when looking for an Aged Care home

Moving a loved one into Aged Care can be a stressful and challenging time, especially if you are not sure what you should be looking for, or the questions you should be asking.  You will want to take into consideration the quality of care, safety features, emotional needs and financial considerations.  We suggest you visit 4-6 homes so you can adequately compare homes. These homes may have been recommended to you to visit, or they may be in the area you wish to move your loved one to.

An onsite visit is the best way to observe the surrounds, get a feel for a place, as well as observe meals times, the presentation of the facility and the customer service you receive there.

Take this list with you and complete soon after visiting the home as there may be details you may forget.

  1. Do you feel welcomed by staff on your arrival?
  2. How are the staff interacting with the residents and their families?
  3. Are there registered nurses around the clock?  How many enrolled nurses and carers? What is the skill mix of staff?
  4. What outside excursions and Lifestyle activities does the facility run and how often?  How are the residents encouraged to partake in activities?
  5. Are there a wide range of activities offered?  Does the program reflect the cultural and/or spiritual needs that my loved ones have?
  6. Check the dining rooms.  What are the meals and snacks like?  Do they cater for allergies and cuisine specific to different cultures?  Try and time your visit during a mealtime and look at the food variety and portion sizes.
  7. Is there a kitchen onsite?  Can you see a copy of the current Menu?
  8. Ask to look at a room.  What furniture is provided and what are you allowed to bring?  How much room is there?
  9. What air conditioning and heating facilities are available in the room?  Does the room have its own ensuite?  Are there restrictions on how you can change/personalise the room?
  10. What is the state of the shared communal areas? Are there private areas for families to sit around and share a conversation?
  11. 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?
  12. Are families encouraged to attend general meetings? Ask to see previous minutes of meetings to see what was discussed and if issues were addressed.
  13. How does the facility manage clinical care needs such as taking medications and wound care?
  14. What is the visitor policy for family and friends?
  15. How are families concerns and complaints dealt with?
  16. What is included in the fees and what are the extra services costs?
  17. Does the home smell pleasant?  For instance, are there homely cooking smells indoors and the scent of flowers and grass outside?
  18. Do the furnishings look comfortable and in great condition?
  19. Are the building materials friendly, safe and in good repair?  Is there current or planned renovations in and around the home?
  20. Does the home have general ‘house rules’ and regulations at the Aged Care home?
  21. How does the home manage the resident’s personal laundry?
  22. What are the Covid protocols for the home?  How are the families kept informed of changes to the protocols?
  23. What rehab facilities does the home offer?  Such as physiotherapy, dieticians and occupational therapy?  Where does the therapy take place?
  24. What systems do they have in place to ensure a smooth transition into the facility?  How are the residents welcomed and get to know the other residents?
  25. What does admissions day look like?  Can you spend the whole day with your family member during the admissions process?
  26. What security measures are in place at the facility?
  27. Do they have a seperate memory support unit?  Or are memory supported residents in the same area as other residents?
  28. Are there church services onsite?  What churches/religions are involved directly with the facility?
  29. Are pets allowed to visit?  What restrictions, if any are there to pets visiting?
  30. How often are the residents rooms cleaned and what is included and not included in that service?
  31. What self-care services do they offer, and how often are they available?  For instance hairdressing, nails and clothing alterations.
  32. What language do the residents and staff speak other than English?
  33. What is the outdoors like?  Can residents get involved in the gardening?

There may be other questions pertinent to your particular circumstances, so think carefully before you visit.  Take your time and write notes straight after your visit so you can compare facilities and make a decision.

There’s no doubt that it 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 right decision for your loved one going into Aged Care.

If you would like to know more about one of our Melbourne Aged Care homes contact our dedicated Admission Team on 1300 104 663.



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