New to aged care and not sure what to expect? Here we answer some of your most pressing questions about what life is like in aged care.
What kind of social activities will be on offer?
Your aged care facility will provide a wide range of social and other activities for you to enjoy – the specific activities will depend on each individual aged care facility. Let your facility know about your hobbies and interests so they can help you continue to participate in them once you move in; and don’t be afraid to request specific activities to be included on the activity calendar. Most facilities are more than happy to accommodate the wishes of their residents where possible. They may also be able to encourage you to try new interests – you might find yourself getting involved in a new activity that you really enjoy.
What health professionals can I see?
You can keep seeing your own doctor, dentist or specialist. Your aged care home must help you with making appointments and accessing doctors or specialists of your choice, although you will need to pay the consultation fee yourself. Your aged care facility may also be able to help arrange transport to your medical appointments, which you may have to pay for.
What if I feel lonely?
The Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) can provide aged care residents with opportunities for social contact, so let your aged care provider know if you would like a community visitor and they may approach the CVS directly.
Visit www.health.gov.au and search for ‘CVS Network Members’ for contact details, or call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.
Can I take holidays?
You have up to 52 nights of social leave from your aged care home to use in a financial year to go on holiday or visit family or friends. Keep in mind that you will still have to pay your accommodation costs and fees while you are away. If you stay away longer than the 52 nights, the Australian Government will stop paying subsidies and you may be eligible for the difference.
What happens if I need to go to hospital?
You will still need to pay your accommodation costs and fees if you need to go to hospital, but the time away won’t count towards your social leave.
Will I have my own room – and is it private?
Yes, you will, and your room is just that – “your” room. That means you can expect the same respect and consideration that you would have in your own home.
What if I’m unhappy with my room and want to change?
You can ask to change rooms if desired, and the manager of the aged care home must consider your request, although it may not be possible to offer you another room immediately. If you change rooms you may need to sign a new accommodation agreement and negotiate a new accommodation price, or pay additional service fees associated with the new room.
There are some circumstances where you could be moved to another room without a request by you. Talk to the manager of your aged care home if you have any concerns about changing rooms.
Can I bring my own furniture?
Having your own furniture, pictures and trinkets is the ideal way to make your room the comfortable and familiar space it should be, so you should feel free to bring any of your own belongings. If you would prefer not to bring your own furniture that’s fine too, as some furniture will be provided. Staff from your aged care facility can help you arrange your room so that it’s just right – always keeping in mind your comfort and safety.
Will I be restricted by rules or routines, or can I come and go as I please?
As long as you are safe, secure and happy, you should be able to conduct your life just as you would at your own home.
Knowledge is power, and can help you feel more comfortable with a move into aged care, so if you have any further questions about any aspect of life in aged care, feel free to get in contact with us here at Finley Regional Care and we’ll do our best to answer your queries.