Choosing an aged care home is a deeply personal decision, and with Australia’s aged population growing rapidly—a trend that will see those aged 65 and over reach 8.8 million by 2057—it’s crucial to make an informed choice.

Well Placed Care is committed to supporting you through this process, ensuring you have all the necessary information to find a place that feels like home.

First Impressions and General Environment

As you step into an aged care home, take note of the atmosphere. Does it feel warm and welcoming? Are the staff approachable and professional? Check if the facility is clean, safe, and well maintained. Look for signs of an orderly yet homely environment—does it smell fresh and are the common areas pleasant and well-kept?

Well Placed Care can help you craft a checklist for these first impressions, ensuring you cover all bases during your visit.

Staff and Care Quality

The quality of care largely depends on the staff, so ask about the staff-to-resident ratio and how this changes during the night and on weekends. Enquire about the qualifications of the care staff and if there are registered nurses available 24/7. How are care plans personalised for each resident, and how frequently are they reviewed?

Questions like, “How do you ensure that each resident’s care needs are met?” and “Can you provide examples of how care plans are adapted as a resident’s needs change?” are vital. Well Placed Care can guide you on how to evaluate staff responses and what they indicate about the home’s care standards.

Medical and Care Policies

Understanding the medical and health care services available is crucial. Ask whether there are medical practitioners who visit the facility and how often. How is medication managed, and who administers it?

For residents with specific health needs, such as dementia, ask about specialised care facilities and approaches, such as, “What specialised care do you provide for residents with dementia?” Well Placed Care can assist you in framing these questions to ensure the facility can adequately meet the complex health needs of your loved one.

Living Conditions

The living quarters should offer comfort and a sense of privacy. Ask if residents can personalise their rooms with their own belongings.

Check the dining options—“Are meals prepared on-site? Can residents choose their meal times and where they eat?” Explore the provision of meals, whether there’s flexibility in meal choices, and how dietary needs are catered to.

Activities and Engagement

A robust activities schedule is essential for mental and physical wellbeing. Determine what types of activities are offered and how often. “How do you tailor activities to the interests and abilities of residents?” and “Can residents suggest activities?” are good questions to ask.

Check if the home supports external engagement and how it connects residents with the local community. Well Placed Care can help you understand the significance of active participation and how it contributes to a resident’s quality of life.

Family and Community Involvement

Family involvement is crucial in ensuring the wellbeing of residents. Find out about the visitation policies—“Can family and friends visit at any time? Are there facilities for them to participate in activities or share meals?”

Also, ask how the home communicates with families about changes in care or other important issues. Well Placed Care advises on maintaining effective communication with aged care providers to ensure families are well-informed and involved.

Feedback and Improvement

Ask the staff if they would recommend the facility and why. Also, enquire about how the facility handles feedback and implements improvements. “How do you gather and respond to feedback from residents and their families?” can provide insights into how the home values and acts on input from its community.

Choosing an aged care home involves more than just evaluating physical spaces and care plans—it’s about finding a supportive, respectful community that aligns with personal needs and values. Well Placed Care is here to assist you every step of the way, ensuring your journey into aged care is informed and supported.

To learn more and ensure that you’re asking the right questions at your next aged care home inspection, get in touch with us today here.

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