It’s never an easy choice to put a loved one into an aged care facility. Most often, we do it because we don’t have the time or personal resources to watch over and take care of the loved one ourselves. On the other end of the spectrum, the loved one may feel a loss of independence and self-identity at the thought of not being able to live independently. Concerns held by both parties are completely valid, which is why it’s important to take various factors into consideration when searching for the perfect aged care facility. Use the list below as a point of reference when you and your loved one begin to consider and visit aged care facilities.
1. Compare Prices
Price is also important to consider when choosing an aged care facility regardless of who is paying. Compare the prices of the facilities that you plan to visit. Just because one facility costs more than the other does not mean that that facility is better equipped to take care of your loved one. On the other hand, though, consider the saying, ‘you get what you pay for’ and do a bit more research on facilities on the cheaper end of the spectrum. You want value but nothing too cheap or your loved one may not get the care that he or she deserves and needs. Hopefully, if you’ve followed points 1 through 9 on this list, it’ll be easy to see which facility meets your expectations and pricing. Many organisations like in home care by Parkglen supports this very personal choice and offers a personalised service plan that is tailored to our clients’ individual needs and budget.
If you are considering putting your loved one into an aged care facility, you will definitely want to consider the points listed above. However, everyone’s needs are different. There might have been a point that wasn’t covered on this list, and that’s completely fine. In addition to using this resource, also consider making a list of factors and questions that you consider important and be sure to take the list with you as you visit various aged care facilities.
2. Do a Taste Test
This is an important thing to consider. After all, you wouldn’t want to eat terrible tasting food day after day, right? See if you’re able to access the weekly menu for the facility or if you can even try the food? You will want to make sure that there is enough food at each meal, and you will also want to make sure that it does have some flavour. Also, ask how the facility’s kitchen handles food allergies and specific diets.
3. Sniff Around
This falls under the category of cleanliness. There are a lot of bodily fluids hanging out around an aged care facility; however, you will want to pay attention to the difference between a passing scent of something and the lingering stench that doesn’t want to leave your nose. This could mean that the facility doesn’t do a good job at cleaning the facility and could very well translate into how they would care for your loved one.
4. Check Out the Staff
You will want to know as much as you can about the people that are taking care of your loved one. Do they seem well-rested? Does their shift load seem manageable? Ask about the staff to resident ratio. Also, verify how often a staff member checks in with each resident.
5. See How the Staff Interacts with Residents
Are they friendly? Empathetic? Responsive and helpful to the needs of residents? You definitely don’t want anyone who is consistently rude to be taking care of your loved one.
6. What Is the Skill Level of The Staff?
Skill and experience are important in any career field. It’s peace of mind knowing that the staff at the facility has the experience, skills, and knowledge necessary to take care of your loved one. Find out how many of the staff members are certified nurses or techs.
7. Look into Activities Offered
Consider the types of recreational activities that will be offered to your loved one. Are there a plethora of different activities from which your loved one can choose? Ask how your loved one will be encouraged to participate in these activities. If your loved one is unable to do more physical activities, ask the facility if they have more easy-going activities to participate in.
8. Check out the Fall Policy
What are the facility’s procedures for handling a fall? This is important to consider because senior citizens are at a greater risk for falling, and it’s likely that they hurt themselves more severely when falling. Ask the facility what their immediate response is, how they report accidents afterwards, as well as if and how they notify the family. It also might not be a bad idea to ask what their emergency response plan is as well.
9. Look into the Facility’s Reputation
Try to obtain all the word of mouth that you care about the facilities you’re researching. Oftentimes, it’s highly convenient to seek and find reviews for the facility that have been posted online. These are nice because they’re easy to access, and you can likely read maybe reviews that span a significant amount of time. One thing to keep in mind though and that people typically only share reviews when they are extremely happy and satisfied with a place; however, they also like to share reviews when they are extremely dissatisfied with a place as well. Don’t be surprised if you see reviews from both ends of the spectrum.
10. Check Out the Surroundings
Is the facility spacious and well-organized? When visiting an aged-care facility, you will want to view the rooms that your loved one will be staying in as well as spending the majority of their time. Is there enough room? Will things that you plan to bring from home fit comfortably in the room? Will your loved one have any issues navigating around the facility as well as accessing any of the common rooms within the facility?