It’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed when you’re researching residential aged care and best service providers. You need not worry though as we got you covered. We talked to industry professionals, aged care experts, and aged care advocates and asked them to give tips on important factors, matters to avoid, and key issues to be aware of when looking for the best provider of aged care services. This article will enlist all that we’ve learned from them in hopes to help you in your research.
Making The Tough Decision
Moving into residential aged care is always a tough decision. Like in the case of Nita Hendrick, an 85-year-old who slipped and suffered from having a broken hip all alone for six hours until a relative luckily dropped by, most individuals realize the need too late.
It was hard for Nita to admit that she already needed to move into residential aged care. She had to experience an accident and lay flat on the floor for six hours with no help, to realize that it’s time to be surrounded by help and people that can support her increasing mobility and health needs 24/7. If Nita’s relative hadn’t luckily dropped by her place that time, it may have taken days before anyone knew that she slipped and broke her hip. It could have been too late for everyone.
While in the hospital, it was then that Nita realized that she needed to be under the care of experts in residential aged care. It was then that she made the tough decision to move. It took 15 weeks for her to find one and move into one.
If you’re researching aged care options, please don’t feel bad. It’s natural to fear moving, hospital visits, painful accidents, and long waiting lists. But you will definitely make it through. You just really need expert advice when it comes to choosing the best aged care provider for you and your needs.
Steps in the Process of Choosing the Right Residential Aged Care
When considering moving into residential aged care, please make it a point to do the following steps to make the process simpler and easier for all persons involved.
1st Step: Meet with Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT, ACAS in Victoria)
Contacting the Aged Care Assessment Team should be your first step when considering moving into residential aged care. Once you’ve reached out, they will duly schedule a time for a visit.
During their visit, they will review your home and your personal needs. They will then duly assess your eligibility. They will evaluate if you are eligible for community care or residential aged care.
In community care, you will still be able to stay at home but you will have help and services delivered to you.
If you will be eligible for residential aged care, you will be given a copy of the assessment report that you’d then attach when you’re filling out applications for residential aged care services.
2nd Step: Being Aware of Insights and Issues
There are three important issues that you need to be aware of: the lack of consumer knowledge in the aged care services, the staffing ratio of facilities, and the clear difference between in-home care and residential care.
Consumer knowledge is lacking in aged care services. Currently, Australia is without a solid standard and protocol when it comes to rating aged care services in a consumer-centered fashion. There is no way for consumers to know how aged care services are because there are no platforms for reviews and ratings in the industry. To deal with this, always make it point to ask people that are already confined in residential aged care regarding the following matters:
- The presence of resident-centered care approach
- Protocols and standard of care for people with dementia
- The presence of culturally appropriate carefully
- The level of allowed involvement of relative and friends
- Protocols and standards for pain management
- Protocols and standards for restraint
- The presence of support from specialists
- Protocols, standards, and policies for end-of-life care options
The staffing ratio is a point of concern because not all residential aged care is manned by certified experts in nursing and healthcare support. When doing your research, make it a point to inquire as to the presence of registered nurses and nursing assistants.
You also need to be fully aware of the difference between residential aged care and in-home care. Data reveals that in-home care is more beneficial and is the better option. Studies showed that 95% of individuals under in-home care are satisfied. It is highly beneficial and way better for one’s overall wellness because one gets to stay home in a place with familiar surroundings and people.
3rd Step: Choosing the Best Residential Aged Care Service Provider
In choosing, do apply the following tips:
Tip # 1: Dedicate serious time and effort in determining if in-home care or residential aged care is better for you and your needs. Research what is residential aged care and see if the set-up truly suits you and your personal needs.
Tip # 2: Research numerous service providers and compare the facilities and care packages that they provide.
Tip # 3: Have a personal checklist of items that you prioritize. When visiting aged care homes, use such a list to check if a place qualifies and satisfies your standards.
Tip # 4: Ask about the staffing arrangement and protocols. Exclude kitchen and laundry staff in the count.
Tip # 5: Check the level of expertise of the staff.
Tip # 6: Check your access to medical specialists and doctors.
Tip # 7: Interview individuals that are already staying in the aged care facility. Ask about their experiences.
Tip # 8: Research your rights and responsibilities as well as that of aged care facilities. This way, you’d be able to easily make informed decisions.
Go Slowly but Surely
Do not feel overwhelmed because a lot of people are willing to help you. You just need to do your research and honestly come up with a personal list of the things that you want and do not want. Have heart because if you’re going to follow our given steps, you’d be able to find out the best care service for you in no time! You can do it!