Moving to an aged care home is an important step, and you should feel free to ask as many questions as you need to make sure you come to the right decision.
The questions in this checklist should be used as a guide to some of the things you might want to consider or ask the manager of a home about. In addition, you may wish to visit the home to assess these issues. The list of questions is not exhaustive and you may consider other questions that will be relevant to your circumstances.
- Is the home accredited by the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency?
- Are you happy about the home’s standards?
Location and access
- Is the location convenient for you, your family and friends?
- Does the building have easy access for people who have difficulty walking or climbing stairs?
- Does it have pleasant grounds and surroundings?
- What transport can you use to visit shops, friends and family?
Accommodation, meals and routines
- Is there provision for married couples and singles?
- Do shared rooms provide enough privacy? What arrangements are there to ensure privacy for residents?
- How is room allocation determined — can you have a say?
- Are the bathrooms shared, or are there ensuites?
- Is the daily routine flexible or fixed? For example, cleaning of bedrooms.
- What are the meal arrangements — seating, times, menus, meals for visitors, meals in your room, special diets?
- Can you have your own private telephone?
- What furnishings and personal items can you bring and what is supplied?
- What provisions are there for storage of personal items?
- Does the home allow residents to keep pets?
Social and cultural
- What social activities are there, and is the home sensitive to your cultural or religious needs?
- Can family and friends visit without restriction?
- How are social and cultural activities decided? Do residents have a say?
- Are there staff who speak your language?
Care and health
- What training and qualifications do the care staff have — are there registered nurses, enrolled nurses, trained carers?
- How many care staff are on duty for what number of residents, including at night, and what are their qualifications?
- Will the home meet your own health or diet needs or preferences?
- What type of care or services cannot be provided? How would you be advised of this?
- If your care needs change, will you be able to stay on, or would you need to move to another home?
- Will you be able to continue to see your own doctor? Does your doctor make out of office visits to the facility?
- What other health professionals visit the home regularly?
- How can family or friends be involved in care? Can they stay overnight if needed?
- Do you understand the costs and agreements associated with care?
- How much does the home charge for an accommodation bond?
- Can you see a copy of the home’s latest prudential statements showing that they have met their obligations to repay accommodation bond balances?
- Are the fees reasonable, and what do they cover?
- If the home has extra services, are they ones that you would like to use, and can you afford any fee increases that might occur?
- What services attract additional charges?
Inspecting a home
If you, your family members or friends are able to visit some homes, it’s a good idea to write down your impressions of each home, together with the home’s name and contact details. These additional points might help:
- What was the attitude of staff assisting you?
- Were you able to look all around the home, look inside some rooms and see all the amenities?
- Was the home fresh, clean and in good repair?
- Is there easy access to well-maintained outdoor areas?
- How would you rate the home you visited on a scale of 1 to 10?
Information from www.agedcareaustralia.gov.au
For more information
Columbia Aged Care Services is a private health care group offering residential aged care centres in Marrickville, Strathfield and Chatswood. We have been focused on the care, comfort and consideration of our residents for over 40 years. For more information, please contact our Relationship Manager on (02) 9089 8089 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. www.ColumbiaAgedCare.com.au