Coming to the realisation that it’s time to use an aged care service can be confronting for you and your family, especially when you realise how many options are available.
When choosing an aged care service provider, things can be a little easier if you use the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) who determine people’s eligibility for some community care programs and all residential care programs, or the Commonwealth Care Link Centre who connect you to providers in your area.
Feros Care also has an Aged Care Advisory Service that helps people find aged care support options for their lifestyle. Here are some tips from the organisation on finding a service that best suits your needs.
Feros Care’s Lifestyle Partnerships Manager, Jo Cooke, is also the primary carer for her mother. She recommends you first work out what you need assistance with.
- Write a list of the things that are now becoming too difficult for you.
- Write a wish list of the tasks and activities that you enjoy and want to keep doing.
- Add to the list your regular appointments and support from friends and family.
- Do your research. Create a shortlist of providers and approach them with your wish list. Compare their capability and flexibility to meet your needs.
- Talk to a mix of large and small aged care providers.
- Make sure you are directly involved with the provider in developing your care plan, as this should be a collaborative process.
Getting help at home
If you think this might be your best option, our General Manager Community Services, Gabriele Taylor, suggests you:
- Review your wish list and decide what could still be taken care of by family or friends, as this is essential in maintaining your relationships and your independence.
- Speak directly to providers and see what is available through any of their government programs and the possibility of adding private services if a top up is needed.
- Ask ANY and AS MANY questions as you want so you can make decisions that feel right for you.
- Enquire about the provider’s accreditation status and if they have any awards or acknowledgments (including from other industries).
Moving into a residential village
Feros Care’s Director of Clinical Services, Sarah Marciano, recommends families help their loved ones look for a place that is the best fit for them and their lifestyle, rather than what suits the family.
- Consider the kind of environment their loved one prefers and find a village to match; e.g. calm atmosphere or busy and bustling, single or double room, ‘hotel-like’ features, pets, or activities, etc.
- Understand why your loved one has been approved for a specific level of care and find a place that suits those requirements.
- Ask how the village caters for their residents’ wishes (particularly if they don’t always align with village policy).
- Have a tour of the village in the morning or at lunchtime when you can see it at its busiest, experience the daily lifestyle and staff interactions – and see the food!