How do I choose the best “Home” for my loved one?

How do I choose the best “Home” for my loved one?Many relatives are faced with the decision of placing their loved Mother or Father, Aunt or Uncle in an aged care home.    Often this decision is made under pressure exerted by an accident or illness which renders the older person unable to continue to live safely independent.

The following guidelines/questions have been identified as important by a person who chose to enter one of Beaumont Care’s Homes and are shared with you in the hope that they are of assistance for you.

1)  Consider where your loved one has been living for the past ten (or less) years.    He/she will have formed a network of friends and acquaintances in this area and it would be preferable (if he/she agrees) to find an aged care facility close to this network so that family and friends can visit.

2) Check the services which are provided in the Home.    Services which should be provided for all Residents include:

  • Beds and mattresses, bed linen, blankets and absorbent or waterproof sheeting;
  • Meals of adequate variety, quality and quantity for each resident, served each day at times generally acceptable to both residents and management, and generally consisting of 3 meals per day plus morning tea, afternoon tea and supper;
  • Assistance with daily living activities such as bathing, dressing and undressing, toileting, mobility, grooming except hairdressing.

Residents who are categorized as ‘high care’ via the ACFI assessment which is conducted by the Home must be provided:

  • Pressure relieving devices such as ripple mattresses, sheepskins or water and air mattresses appropriate to each resident’s condition;
  • over-bed tables;
  • Sanitary pads, tissues, toothpaste, denture cleaning preparations, shampoo and conditioner;
  • Walking frames, walking sticks, and wheelchairs.  Excludes motorised wheelchairs and custom made aids;
  • Mechanical devices for lifting residents, stretchers and trolleys;
  • Absorbent aids, commode chairs, disposable bed pans and urinal covers, disposable pads, over-toilet chairs, shower chairs and Uridomes, catheter and urinary drainage appliances and disposable enemas;
  • Analgesia, anti-nausea agents, bandages, creams, dressings, laxatives and aperients, mouthwashes, ointments, saline, skin emollients, swabs and urinary alkalising agents.  Excludes goods prescribed by a health practitioner for a particular resident and used only by the resident;
  • Maintenance therapy delivered by health professionals, or care staff as directed by health professionals, designed to maintain residents’ levels of independence in activities of daily living.  More intensive therapy delivered by health professionals, or care staff as directed by health professionals, on a temporary basis;
  • Oxygen and oxygen equipment needed on a short-term, episodic or emergency basis.

Additional services to those required to be routinely provided in a Home can be purchased.   Some of these services may include a daily newspaper, weekly supply of flowers, wine with the lunch and/or evening meal, wider choice of meals, staff escorts to attend events in the community such as the theatre/trips, relaxation massages.   Family celebrations can also be catered.   Other options include beauty therapy, pet care, personal telephone, fridge and clothing labelling/alterations/mending.

  • Identify items/activities/needs which are important to your loved one’s quality of life and ensure that the Home will provide for these needs.   For example:
    • Will the Home allow smoking?
    • Does the Home accept pets either to live with the resident or to visit the resident on a regular basis?
    • Does the Home have a variety of interesting activity programs?    What types of activities are available?
    • Does the facility provide bus outings for the residents?   If so, how often and what outings are offered?
    • Are Physiotherapy and Podiatry services available to residents?
    • Can my loved one bring in some personal items?
    • How often can family visit?
    • Does the Home cater for family celebratory events such as birthdays, Christmas and Anniversaries?
    • What does the Home do to help the new resident settle in to aged care?
    • Are there support programs or groups for relatives and friends of residents?
    • How often does the Hairdresser visit and can my loved one have a perm and colour?
    • Does the Home provide residents with access to beauty therapy services?
    • Are alternative therapies available for residents – such as massage, aromatherapy, acupuncture?
    • Can family bring in favourite foods of the resident?
    • Can the resident go on family outings including overnight stays/family holidays?
  •  Ask other residents and their families if they are happy in the Home.
      • Are they happy with the care provided by staff?
      • Are they happy with the services provided – meals, laundry and cleaning?
      • Are they happy with the accommodation and furniture?
      • If residents are unwilling or unable to speak, do they look happy?
  • Consider the atmosphere in the Home:
      • Is the facility ‘alive’ with the hustle and bustle of ‘living’?
      • Do staff smile and greet you when you visit?
      • Do staff look happy?
      • Are staff interacting well with residents?
      • Are staff kind and caring towards residents?
      • Do staff appear to be rushed when they are assisting residents?
      • Does the Home have a ‘homely’ feel?
      • Are you welcomed when you enter the Home?
  • Consider the environment in the Home:
    • Are furnishings comfortable for the residents?
    • Is the Home clean?
    • Are residents’ clothes clean?
    • Is there outdoor space for residents and families?
    • Is there private space for residents and families?
    • Are the gardens attractive?
    • Is there adequate cooling and warmth in residents’ rooms?
    • Are you able to smell the food at meal times?
    • Are meals presented attractively?

 If you wish, we can further assist you with placement of your loved one.

Call Colleen at Beaumont Care on 0499 779 877.


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