5 considerations when choosing an aged care facility

Choosing a new home is always a big decision. After all, it becomes your new community and where you spend the majority of your time! So, it’s important to choose wisely. This is especially true when it comes to finding a new home for an ageing family member.

If your loved one is no longer able to look after themselves and family care is not a viable option, an aged care home is a wise option. But, not all aged care facilities are created equal! You want to make sure your family member is moving somewhere where they will feel fulfilled, comfortable and at home.

So, how do you make sure you’re picking the right aged care facility for your elderly relative? Here are 5 important considerations to help you find the perfect new home.

1. What are the facilities like? 

Pay attention to your first impression when you visit the residential home. Do the gardens look well manicured and looked after? Do the rooms look clean, tidy and comfortable? These can give you important insights into the quality of care provided there. 

2. What activities are on offer?

Having a full and vibrant life is vital for senior’s wellbeing and happiness. So, it’s important to make sure that the residential home has plenty of activities to keep them mentally, physically and socially engaged.

Keeping busy is also key for easing the transition from their old home to their new one.

Yoga, dancing, Tai Chi and art are just some of the activities we offer at Scalabrini. We also arrange external outings when it is safe to do so.

3. What are the staff like?

The people at your loved one’s aged care home will become their new (extended) family. This includes not only the other residents, but the staff! These are the people your relative will turn to for daily support and assistance. So, it’s important that they feel comfortable, respected and trusting.

The aged care profession tends to attract caring and kind-hearted people in general. But, how an organisation is managed can affect your loved one’s experience, and this stems down from the top. At Scalabrini, we are proud to say that staff are enabled to take their time in getting to know each resident’s individual needs. They are given the flexibility to notice the little things that matter and the space to listen and connect with the resident more deeply. This enables our staff to provide the best possible experience for our residents.

4. What are their core values — and do they practice them?

This is one consideration that will be less immediately obvious. But, it can be a huge deciding factor in the best location for your family member. All aged care facilities have different values and priorities. Often, these will be listed on their website: it might include things like respect, care or dignity. While this is helpful, it’s also important to consider whether they show evidence of practicing what they preach.

For example, our philosophy at Scalabrini is Sono Io, Italian for This is me. It’s about supporting our residents to live a life full of dignity, by recognising each person for who they truly are. However, we understand that it’s not enough to just talk about it, which is why we have three clear strategies in place to practice this daily. These are providing a strong sense of home, seeing and valuing the person, and giving our staff the space to make a difference.

5. Will they be able to cater for their health needs?

Your loved one is a unique person with their own individual needs. In order to make their life comfortable and pleasant, it’s important that these needs are met. This includes not only current needs, but future health considerations, too. 

At Scalabrini, we have registered nursing staff on site 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. We also provide dementia care, palliative care, end of life planning and chronic and complex pain care.

Deciding on an aged care home for your loved one is a choice that should be made with great consideration, and ideally in collaboration with them. But, by asking these 5 questions, you can make the decision a little easier.