NSW is awash with aged care facilities, and the choice of which one to live in can seem overwhelming. Here’s how you can know if you’ve found a high-quality aged care facility.
Word of mouth is always a good recommendation, and people who have had a good experience are always willing to share it with others. Ask your family members, friends, neighbours or colleagues if they can recommend a good aged care facility in the area of NSW you’re interested in living. Chances are at least some of them have a relative or friend living in an aged care facility, and can fill you in on their experiences, good or bad.
Do a bit of homework, and check out the website of any aged care facilities you’re considering. This may tell you a lot about the facilities and types of care available, and the website may contain testimonies from happy clients that might give you more of an insight into the facility.
As well, you can check for sanctions or breaches (meaning the facility is not meeting the minimum standard of care) here: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/non-compliance-checker and here https://www.agedcarequality.gov.au/aged-care-performance/monthly-register-serious-risk-decisions-residential-services.
Inspect the facilities
What you won’t find out from online research is the atmosphere and feel of a place. There’s nothing like seeing something in person, so make an appointment at any potential aged care facilities to have a look around.
What to look for:
Positive and caring staff-resident interactions
Staff at a good aged care facility should promote positive, caring and helpful interactions with residents. They should treat residents kindly and respectfully, as they would want their own parents or grandparents to be treated. Staff members and management alike should greet and interact with residents as they move around the facility.
- Staff treating residents as an inconvenience
- Lack of staff engagement with residents
- High levels of staff turnover
Strong activity levels
Keeping residents busy, active and entertained is a big part of what makes an aged care facility a good one. Check the activity roster to see how many, how often and what type of activities are scheduled. A good aged care facility will provide plenty of activity choices and stimulus to residents, and may also be able to incorporate particular hobbies and interests of residents.
- Residents left sitting alone in their rooms for long periods of time
- Few scheduled activities
Great, tasty food with a focus on nutrition
We all love our food, and it’s no different as you get older. Older people in particular need nourishing, healthy food that is tasty and attractively presented. Inspect the aged care facilities during a mealtime, and have a look at the food served up to residents and the kitchen facilities. Look for healthy, appetising and filling meals that cater for different dietary requirements and tastes.
- Skimpy meal portions
- Unappetising presentation
- Food lacking in nutritional value
- Generic meals that don’t cater for dietary needs or differences
- Kitchen staff who are unwilling to accommodate or help residents
Adequate medical care and facilities
Aged care facilities will provide low level medical care to many of their residents, and as such, needs adequate medical facilities and staff. Ensure that the staffing levels are suitable, and that the aged care facility utilises the services of local GPs when necessary.
- Low nursing staff levels
- Un-dealt-with medical problems
- High levels of after-hours transfers to local hospitals, which usually means medical problems are not being dealt with effectively
A home-like environment
A good aged care facility will include personal touches for their residents that celebrate their individuality, rather than being cold, impersonal and clinical. An aged care facility is a resident’s home, and should feel like that, rather than like a hospital.
- Lack of personal touches (such as photos and memorabilia)
- A hospital-like environment
If you’re looking for an aged care facility in NSW that provides all these things and more, look no further than Finley Regional Care! Have a look at our website or get in contact here.