As an Aged Care Placement Consultant I spend a lot of time asking people what they are looking for in an aged care facility and then checking out a range of facilities to match my client’s needs to the facility. There are some basic lifestyle considerations that everyone should ask when considering a facility. Here are my top five:
1. Lifestyle programs
When inspecting a facility I always check out their recreational areas, garden spaces and the range of lifestyle and recreational programs, as well as access to libraries, entertainment areas and appropriate spaces in which to receive guests. I also enquire about the quality and number of outings and whether they provide buses for outings.
Check out that the type of services the resident requires are available at the facility, such as hairdressers, podiatrists, physiotherapists, visiting dentists, opticians and audiologists. Additional charges for these services should also be clarified, as ongoing costs are often an issue. Ensure that wifi and Foxtel are available at the facility; these are usually an extra cost so check out how much these additional ongoing costs will be.
3. Quality of meals
This is another topic that has seen much debate in recent years, with foodie Maggie Beer weighing into the debate. My advice is to look for the facilities that provide real catering and in-house chef services.
4. Room to place personal furniture
Some residents feel more comfortable and at home with some of their favourite pieces in their room or suite. For those people, it’s important to find a facility that allows them to bring some of their furniture and that can include a fridge. Check out how many pieces will fit a room taking into consideration the facility’s OH&S requirements and if a fridge is allowed. Also check out if a TV is provided in the room.
5. Taking a holiday
Residents may want to take a holiday or visit family and friends during the year. They are able to take “social leave” from a facility for up to 52 nights within a financial year. During this time they will still pay their normal fees and the Government subsidies will continue.
For more pointers read my blog on the top five questions to consider.