Choosing an aged care home
You’ve been approved by an Aged Care Assessment Team and you’re ready to start looking for your new home – now what? You’re probably feeling plenty of emotions right now: a little anxiety, maybe some sadness, but also excitement and relief. The next step you’re about to take needs to be the right one for you – so to help with any confusion, we’ve pulled together a guide of what to consider when choosing a residential aged care home.
Step one: Do your research
With so many homes available across Australia, looking for the right one for you can be an overwhelming experience. The ‘Find a provider’ tool on the My Aged Care website is a good place to start. It can help you narrow down your choices.
Enter your preferred suburb, select your care type and preferences, then click “search”. You can search by different preferences, such as:
- Are you looking for a single or shared room?
- Are you looking for a single or shared room?
- Is there a certain cultural or religious environment you’d prefer?
- Is there a language other than English that you feel more comfortable speaking?
- Do you require specialised support due to medical or social circumstances?
You can also choose to see just the properties with current availability. You can compare information on different homes by clicking “+ Compare” next to the ones you’re interested in, and then clicking “View Comparison” at the top of the page.
Once you’ve got the list down to two or three, perhaps view any online tours that are available through the provider’s website. This may help you decide if you want to visit the home for an onsite tour.
Step two: Decide what’s right for you
When you’ve decided on a shortlist of homes you’d like to consider, it’s a good idea to visit them and see what it’s like to live there. Call the homes to organise a tour, and think about what questions you’d like to ask so that you’re prepared. The list of questions on the My Aged Care website is a good place to start, but also think about what questions might be unique to you.
When you visit the home, you can bring a friend or family member with you for support and a second opinion. You should also bring a notepad so that you can take notes. Talk to as many people as possible, and look to see if the staff and residents look happy and engaged. If you’re not sure about something, it’s ok to ask more questions and take your time to think over your options.
Step three: Make an application
Once you’ve found the right place for you, you’ll need to submit an application form. If they don’t have a vacancy for you straight away, you’ll be placed on their waiting list and contacted when space becomes available. It’s a good idea to keep in touch with the home every few weeks to let them know you’re still interested in living there.
If you find another place to live, be sure to withdraw your application from the homes you are no longer interested in.
Step four: Move to your new home
Once a suitable vacancy occurs, you’ll be contacted by the aged care home. Once the home confirms your current aged care approval details (including financial arrangements) and reviews your care and service needs, you may be offered a place at the home. If you accept, you’ll have up to seven days to move in to your new home.
How will I know if the home is right for me?
We all have individual needs, and there are different homes that can cater to that.
You should always take a tour of the home before signing anything. Trust your first impression upon entering; there’s a lot to be said for gut instinct. While you wait for your guide, chat with residents to see what they think of the home.
When you’re on the tour, here are some things to consider:
- Does your guide greet residents along the way by name?
- Do the residents look happy and engaged? Do the staff?
- Are the chairs in the common areas comfortable? What kind of entertainment is offered in the living spaces (television, the day’s newspapers, magazines, board games, puzzles) – and do they interest you?
- Are the rooms and common areas clean and well-maintained?
- Are all the meals cooked fresh on-site?
- What allied health and other services are on-site and how often are they available?
- Are the lawns and gardens well maintained? Are there common outdoor areas where you can relax?
- Are pets allowed on site?
- What are the visiting hours like for my family and friends?
- Are there any set meal arrangements in place (meal-times, seating, guests, dietary requirements, alcohol)?
- Are there on-site activities?
- Do they organise daytrips or outings?
- Is there on-site transport available for trips to visit the shopping centre or friends, for example?
- What additional costs are involved?
We are here to help you
As one of Queensland’s most experienced and trusted not-for-profit organisations, Anglicare Southern Queensland has a proven reputation for delivering an exceptional standard of service to senior members of our Queensland community and their families.
We understand there are many things to consider when you move into a residential aged care community. We would love to show you around an Anglicare Southern Queensland Residential Aged Care Home near you. To arrange a tour, call our team today on 1300 610 610.