There is so much information out there about “what is aged care?” and what it can offer, but it doesn’t answer the question of what we should ultimately be looking for in aged care. Each of us has our own unique preferences when it comes to look and feel, but there is a key criterion that should guide your decision and lead you to the right provider and solution. If you are at the start of your research or have looked everywhere but find you’re no closer to finding the answer, let’s figure out what to look for.
Your needs met
This might seem quite obvious, but many people can be attracted to a new build aged care option and not realize that there are no health professionals on-site, or that accommodation is shared. You might also like the idea of starting off with home visit care, but then require something more comprehensive upon later reflection. Having a discussion with your family about what your core needs and preferences are for aged care will help you start to narrow down the offerings.
When you start to assess your aged care needs and the options available to you, be sure to familiarise yourself with the aged care providers’ core values. Do they prioritize community, respect, independence, and excellence? You might also want to consider an aged care provider that aligns with your religious values. When looking at what aged care is the right fit, find a place that aligns with your own personal values.
Diverse community programs
Knowing how you will spend your days in a residential community or in-home care will go a long way in understanding what your future will be like. If you are someone that is quite active, then you will want to see this reflected in the community programs on offer. Similarly, social and outdoor activities might be an important part of your lifestyle and something you want to see continue.
You can generally find a quality aged care option in any suburb or area, but take care in selecting the location you wish to move to. Somewhere that is close to your family and preferred health care providers will really make the difference, and it will mean that you can stay connected to the community you have been part of for such a long time. Deciding on a maximum radius might be a great place to start.
A great team
Your carers are going to become such an important part of your life, with many of them feeling like friends and family. Carers who can make you feel like this will make such an impact, so insist on meeting the team onsite before you make any decisions. If you are considering home care then you should be even more selective of your choice so that you can ensure you are spending your days at home with a fantastic and compassionate company.
Your journey into aged care will not be static, and it might actually start out with home or respite care, and then blossom into residential care. You want to know that you have the flexibility to scale up or down and assess your health and needs accordingly. Most aged care providers allow for this flexibility, although others insist on an upfront commitment to secure a sought-after estate, so if flexibility is important to you let that be known.
We hope we have given you enough to think about as you start your aged care journey. If you are looking for more information, there are so many resources out there including government resources to help you get the support and information required to make an informed decision!