When the time comes for a family member to be moved to an aged care facility, it can be very difficult for everyone. Making a decision on someone else’s behalf is always tough, even when you have their well-being in mind. On the other hand, when people decide to move to such a facility, they have a chance to choose the one they feel will suit them the most. Deciding which facility is the best for you is a practical task, and there are plenty of things on the list that you need to check before you decide, and we’re here to help.
Visit the center
Of course, you’ll need to visit the centers, but try to time your visits so you get the most of them. Stop by at different times of the day so you can get acquainted with the staff better since they’ll change shifts in the morning and afternoon. Try to be discreet in your observations but pay attention to see if the staff look tired, stressed or rushed. These are all signs of an understaffed facility and you should be wary of it. Visit at the weekends as well, because these are the times when management, as well as office staff aren’t usually present and use the opportunity to talk to the staff and ask them about their job.
Ask about the food
You should spend some time during the meals too and take note of the food. Pay attention to the variety of food as well as its quality and quantity. See if everyone is seated comfortably and if there is enough staff to help everyone during the meals. Small details such as if there’s water on the table will tell you a lot as well. Inquire to see if there are other options available if someone doesn’t like the item on the menu and check the menu yourself to see whether you’d like it. The menu should change often to provide a variety of foods as well as keep the residents interested.
Cleanliness is next to godliness
You already know how easy it can be to drop and spill something and how challenging it can be to clean it up. With a lot of aged residents, these facilities have to deal with a lot of spills but that doesn’t mean that these things should be tolerated. Spills on the floor can be dangerous because slipping and falling are dangerous for the elderly. Look around to see if everything appears clean and check for unpleasant smells. Bedrooms in aged care facilities should always have clean linen, bathrooms fresh towels, and male residents should be clean shaven, while ladies should be well groomed.
Just because you move to such a facility, it doesn’t mean you should spend your days watching TV and being bored. Socializing is important as we age, and even when our mobility decreases, our need for company doesn’t. Residents in aged care facilities should have a chance to get to know each other, interact with each other and spend time together. There should also be organized activities for individuals as well as groups to help residents stay active and meet others. Access to computers is important too, because the internet allows us to stay in touch with our family via emails and social media.
Last but not least, you should pay attention to the facility’s reputation. Ask around to see what other people have to say about it and ask the facility for references. See if it would be possible for you to talk to families of people who are already staying there and some of the residents because that’s one of the best ways to get reliable information. There are also accreditation reports which can be useful but don’t underestimate word of mouth.
Trying to decide when the time is right for you to move to an aged care facility is tricky, but once you set your mind to it, you can start dealing with practical issues. Fortunately, there are many providers on the market, and you have a better choice today than people did decades ago. Start early, put together a list of important things to look out for, and find the facility that’s best for you and your needs.