It is a stressful time making the decision to move in to aged care whether it is for yourself or a loved one. Once you have a list of facilities you think may suit and are in the right location, the question arises: what do I look for when I visit the facility?
Top ten things to be mindful of when doing a tour:
1. Are you warmly welcomed by staff?
2. Do you observe staff interacting with residents?
3. What is the skill mix of staff? Ideally facilities have a registered nurse on each shift who are supported by enrolled nurses and carers.
4. What is the ratio of staff to residents? This fluctuates depending on the care needs of residents 1:6 is great but can range up to 1:10. Remember to ask for AM shift, PM shift and night duty shift as they will vary.
5. Are residents engaged in activities? Are they taken on excursions?
6. Have a look at the activities calendar to see what is run at the facility.
7. Try to visit around meal time so you can observe the meals served, the variety, size and the dining experience.
8. Check out the size of the room, what furniture is provided and what can you bring in. Is there internet access? Is there access for a phone? Do you pay extra for a phone? Is a TV provided?
9. The general condition of the facility. Is it light, bright, well maintained? Are there areas to meet privately with friends and family? Is there access to outdoor areas?
10. Ask to see the minutes from the last resident and relative meeting to see what was discussed and ensure they are run regularly. This can sometimes given you an idea of ongoing unaddressed complaints.
Don’t forget to make sure anything special to you is included or allowed. For example, if you are a smoker, is this permissible? There are many facilities now that do not allow smoking. Can you bring your dog to visit? So remember to ask these questions.
This article was provided thanks to Margaret and Sarah at http://signpostlms.com.au