Aged Care Homes – A Guide To Ease The Pain

Before you consider moving your loved one into residential care, it’s always good to know what to look for in an aged care home. Listed below are some important tips that can help you make the decision. When should you move? What are the steps to make sure you choose the best care home? And what are the signs that it is time to move?

What is residential care?

Residential care is a type of long-term care that is designed to meet the individual needs of a senior. It encourages independence, provides daily activities, and offers a social environment. Typically, residential care facilities are staffed by Personal Carers, Enrolled Nurses, and Registered Nurses. These professionals can help a resident with any number of daily activities. Residential care is different than the kind of care that is provided by hospitals. It is typically for older people who struggle to live independently due to physical or mental health problems. These care facilities provide staff that can administer medication and perform daily care. They also allow residents to lead a relatively normal life, going out with friends, and shopping. Many facilities also allow residents to maintain their relationships with others, which is especially important for people with dementia or other serious illnesses.

Residential care can range from 1-2 weeks Respite Care to Permanent placement. The type of care you need depends on your loved one’s condition and wants and needs. Whilst residential care homes offer 24-hour care, some homes also provide care to cater for specific needs, such as Alzheimer’s care or dementia care. Many people confuse residential care with nursing care. It is an alternative for seniors who need 24-hour care but does not require hospitalisation. In a residential care facility, staff are on hand around the clock to provide personal care and medical care. The caregivers also tend to the resident’s emotional and social needs. 24/7 care accommodation can come in two forms: assisted living and aged care homes. Both types provide personal care services and housing for residents. The focus in assisted living is on maximising residents’ independence. In addition, some residential care facilities offer memory support units.

When is the right time to move?

Choosing when to move your loved one into residential care is an important decision. While it is not uncommon for someone to make the decision spontaneously, there are often factors that prompt a move, such as the death of a spouse or significant other, a fall or operation, or a general decline in mobility. A decline in mobility can make everyday tasks, such as getting up from bed or making a cup of tea, dangerous. In addition, loneliness can become a problem. A professional can give you a variety of perspectives and suggestions for moving your loved one. These experts can also provide a benchmark by which to measure your decision by and can offer you suggestions on where to start. It is important to write down your concerns and research your options before making a decision. It’s important to consider the benefits and disadvantages of each care home before deciding on one. For instance, it makes good sense to visit 2 or 3 homes to see the living environment and talk to the staff. In most cases, your loved one can even stay in the aged care home for a Respite period or a try before you buy to help your relative adjust. It will help to familiarise yourself with the layout of the aged care home, so ask lots of questions about meals, activities, and routines.

What are steps in finding the right nursing home?

If you’re in the process of finding an aged care home for your loved one, there are many things to consider. First, check whether they have had an ACAT assessment as they will need an ACAT code for either Respite or Permanent Care or both. You can get recommendations from people who have used aged care homes. Also, healthcare providers, social service agencies, and religious groups can provide recommendations on aged care homes. You should also ensure the aged care home has a good Service compliance rating and meets Quality Standards for such things as personal and medical care; services and supports for daily living. If you have a loved one who is disabled, ensure the aged care home has the necessary equipment such as hoists, shower and over toilet chairs as well as what the staff to resident ratio is like if a 2-person assist is needed to assist your loved one. Once you’ve narrowed the list down to a few options, it’s time to visit them in person.

Make sure you’re comfortable with the facilities, especially if you plan to visit your loved one on a regular basis. Make sure to take a tour of each facility and observe interactions between staff and residents. Observe if staff are friendly, helpful, and willing to spend time with residents and family and friends. Look for a facility with good sized rooms whether single or shared, appropriate lighting, and a variety of activities that meet your loved one’s interests. Also, check on the pet policy if your loved one or family have a pet that they would like to continue to see. The environment should be clean and free from foul odours. It should also be equipped with grab bars, handrails, and emergency lighting and call system. If your loved one tends to get confused and wanders then consider an aged care home with a security system to prevent confused residents from wandering out of the facility.

Choosing a nursing home is a major decision. If your loved one needs permanent care, it’s important to take the time to visit several facilities and evaluate their care by using Respite Care first to ensure they meet your loved ones needs. Ultimately, choose the nursing home that provides the best care for your loved one. It’s important to discuss the options with your loved one if they are able to participate in the decision-making process and make the decision that’s best for everyone involved.

What signs to look for to know it’s time to move?

There are many reasons why you may want or need to move your elderly loved one into a residential care facility. There may be signs of dementia or other medical problems. It’s also possible that the person is having trouble performing everyday tasks, such as personal care, cleaning, etc. If you think this may be the case, it’s time to start searching for a good option.

One sign that it’s time to move your loved one into residential care is a change in their behaviour or limited mobility. You may notice that your loved one no longer wants to engage in routine activities, such as socialising or taking walks. Perhaps they no longer want to solve puzzles or watch television. If your loved one no longer wants to participate in these activities, it may be time to consider aged care. It’s hard to make the decision to move a loved one into residential care. However, you may feel better if you take the time to listen to your instincts. It’s also important to remember that dementia is a degenerative disease that can only be managed with the right type of memory care and loving support.

What Are The Types Of Care Available?

Help at Home

As you get older, living independently in your own home can become more difficult.  If you or your loved ones are finding it harder to do things you used to, help is available and you can ask for some assistance.

As you get older, living independently in your own home can become more difficult. If you’re finding it harder to do the things you used to, you can ask for some help at home.

Asking for help doesn’t mean losing your independence; it’s quite the opposite. Getting a little help with daily activities means you can stay independent in your own home for longer. In fact, a little support can lead to a much better life.

Help at home looks different for different people. It may mean getting help with shopping and cooking. Or it could be receiving personal care to bath, dress, and get in and out of bed. It may even mean getting modifications to improve your safety and movement around the house.

Family and friends may not also be around to assist so getting some help at home can enable you or your loved one to continue to live independently in the home for as long as possible.

Short-term care

Maybe you or your loved one needs some help after a hospital stay, or support if regular family care is taking a break or holiday.  Short-term can help with coping with life’s interruptions.

Short-term care provides care and support services for a set period of time. There are different types of short-term care depending on your needs, but all aim to help you with day-to-day tasks and either restore or maintain your independence.

Depending on the type of short-term care you access, help can be provided for a few days to a few months at a time.

Aged Care Homes

You or your loved one might be at a stage where living independently, even with carer support or home care services to help you, is no longer possible or considered safe.  If that’s the case, it may be time to consider moving into an aged care home.

An aged care home (sometimes known as a nursing home or residential aged care facility) is for older people who can no longer live at home and need ongoing help with everyday tasks or health care.

Leaving your own home and entering an aged care home isn’t an easy decision. But it doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. An aged care home can give you the care and services you need to maintain your quality of life.

The government funds a range of aged care homes across Australia so that they can provide care and support services to those who need it. Each aged care home is different, so it’s important to choose the right one for you.

How Does My Aged Care Assess My Needs?

The first stage is to find out if you or your loved one are eligible for subsidised aged care. This involves a two-part assessment process that understands the needs and what services could help. It starts with a simple eligibility check which can done online or over the phone followed by an in-person assessment.

The first step to access government-funded aged care services is to check eligibility for a face-to-face assessment.

Yours or your loved ones Medicare card is all that is needed. The application takes at least 10 minutes, so make sure there is a little time to spare.

The first step is an eligibility check. Our priority is getting the help that is needed. To do this, My Aged Care will ask about:

  • your or your loved one’s health
  • how you’re/they’re managing at home
  • any support currently receiving
  • the answers will help My Aged Care understand your needs and whether there is eligibility for a face-to-face assessment. 

If you are eligible, they will ask you for a few details to complete the application.

My Aged Care will keep a record of the application, so they won’t need to ask for the same information again at your assessment.

If your application is successful, an assessor will be in contact to arrange a face-to-face assessment. A face-to-face assessment can determine exactly what you or your loved one needs and can even give advice about services you may not have thought about. 

If you or your loved one have immediate needs, My Aged Care may refer you directly to services before your assessment takes place.

What To Consider When Looking For Residential Care?

Each organisation will provide services differently and charge different costs. So it’s important to look around, think about your or your loved ones priorities, needs, budget, and location, and compare providers before deciding.

When looking for aged care services, there are four general areas you should consider:

Service – Does the provider offer the services that you or loved one are eligible for and is the provider going to meet those needs?

Costs – What fees and costs might be needed to pay?

Availability – Does the provider have availability now, or is there a waiting list, and for how long?

Quality – Will the provider deliver good, quality service?

What Kind of Assessment Will My Aged Care Give Me?

There are two types of assessments that work out care needs and what types of care you or loved one may be eligible for.

A home support assessment with a Regional Assessment Service (RAS)

If, from the information provided during the call, it sounds like low-level support is needed to stay independent in the home, the contact centre may recommend a home support assessment with a RAS assessor. This type of support is provided through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

A comprehensive assessment with an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT)

If it sounds like care needs are greater than what the Commonwealth Home Support Programme can support, a comprehensive assessment with an ACAT assessor may be recommended

How To Prepare For An Assessment?

It has now been assessed from the call, that an ACAT assessor is recommended and needs to conduct a face-to-face assessment, here are some tips:

For any face-to-face assessment:

  • have your Medicare card and one other form of ID proof – such as DVA card, driver’s license, healthcare card, or passport;
  • have a copy of any referrals from your doctor;
  • consider if you would like a support person present;
  • have any information you already have about aged care services that you may want to discuss
  • have contact details for your GP or other health professionals;
  • consider if you need special assistance to communicate, such as a translator or Auslan interpreter;
  • have information on any support you receive.

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