Moving a family member into Aged Care is usually a very difficult task. Often the need arises following an illness or injury, the result of which is that a loved one can no longer care for themselves in their own home. There is often little time available to research and make decisions (particularly if a hospital is involved), as the hospital faced tries to move them along to a facility which can provide a longer term solution.
For many people, moving a family member into an aged care facility will be their first contact with the aged care industry, and this can be quite daunting. The pressure of finding the right home and doing so quickly, combined with the concerns for the wellbeing of a parent make for a stressful combination.
We spoke to Janeene Lycett of Chesalon about the difficulties families face when choosing an Aged Care facility, and asked her how she would go about choosing a place for her parents.
What would you never accept from a facility?
You should never accept a bad attitude from the facility’s management and staff. If they have a bad attitude towards you before your parent is admitted, how are they going to treat them and you, after they become a resident?
How can you make the process easier?
You can make the process easier by:
- Being well informed – know what questions to ask when you are inspecting the facility and make sure they are answered.
- Using the internet for research – this can significantly cut down on the time spent running around.
There are also placement agencies available who specialise in finding a facility to meet your specified needs. These organisations do charge for their services, however if you are time poor this may be an option.
Would you look for different things in a facility for your mum or your dad?
Aged care facilities have historically catered more for females than males because most residents were female. This is starting to change, and some places have developed specific recreation programs designed to appeal to men. These might include a Mens’ Shed, gardening programs or men only card games. Look for somewhere that does specifically cater for men.
Another issue relates to personal care and who provides this care, particularly as it relates to showering and toileting. It is important to find out how the facility will provide this care, and if they will accommodate your needs for staff of the same sex to provide this care. It might be quite stressful and confronting for an elderly lady to be showered by a male nurse (and vice versa), and if this is an issue you would want to obtain some assurances that this would only be done by someone of the same sex.