seniors pathway guide
finding permanent Residential Aged Care
There are many options available for permanent residential aged care in Adelaide. While this means that the right place for your loved one is out there, it can be hard to find it.
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What to look for when choosing an aged care home
Knowing what your loved one needs and the budget you’re working with is the key to choosing the best place for you or your loved one. Here are some things to consider when making your decision:
Some aged care homes offer a range of room types, so it is a good idea to know how important it is to your loved one to have a large room, a private ensuite, pleasant outlook or basic in-room kitchen facilities.
The cost of accommodation (e.g. room price) is set by the aged care provider and will vary depending on the location of the aged care home, the room type and its size. The aged care provider will also determine whether additional and extra service fees are applicable.
It is also worth understanding whether the provider is open to negotiating fees and charges.
Tasty, nutritious food can make a significant difference in your loved one’s health, wellbeing and enjoyment. Understanding more about your loved one’s dietary requirements and preferences and whether these match the offerings at their preferred aged care home/s will help to choose a facility.
Facilities and activities
Many aged care homes offer a range of facilities and activities. Examples include:
- Gardens and communal areas
- Regular access to a GP (your loved one’s existing GP may already attend, or is willing to attend, the aged care home)
- Regular access to allied health services (e.g. physiotherapy, podiatry)
- Types and frequency of activities
- Chapel and religious services
Cultural or diverse needs
Some facilities have specialised services to cater for particular preferences such as language, diet and religion, as well as medical needs for certain conditions such as dementia.
Quality and compliance
All aged care homes that receive government subsidies must meet the Aged Care Quality Standards. You can check if any home has had any disciplinary action for non-compliance using the ‘Non-compliance checker’ tool on the My Aged Care website.
Should I visit the aged care home in person?
If you can, absolutely — most aged care homes will host tours and it is highly recommended to visit any facilities you’re seriously considering. This will allow you to see the facility in its day-to-day operations and give you an opportunity to see for yourself if it is the right fit for your loved one.
As restrictions may apply, please check with the individual aged care home about whether you can take a tour.
Visiting the aged care home will help you to answer the following questions:
- Does the home feel clean and well-maintained?
- Are the residents engaged and appear happy?
- Are there enough staff on duty?
- Are staff relaxed and smiling?
- Is the manager conducting the tour wanting to learn more about your loved one?
- Do you feel that the manager is dedicated to ensuring that the home operates to a high standard?
- If you’re able to view a vacant room, is it private and peaceful, noisy, warm or cold?
- Will your loved one like the furnishings, décor, room size and cleanliness?
- If there’s a lifestyle activity happening while you’re there, does it look engaging and interesting?
- If you’re able to see or take home a copy of the menu, do the meals suit your loved one’s taste?
How do I apply for a place in an aged care home?
There is no standard application process for places in an aged care home so you’ll find that there will be some variations depending on the aged care provider. In general, all applications will require the following:
The older person’s preferred language, health insurance, next of kin, representative’s details, power of attorney and previous aged care experience (if any).
The fee advice letter from Centrelink (Services Australia) will be required, so your loved one must have completed an Assets and Income assessment before applying for government-subsidised residential aged care.
It is likely that the aged care provider will also request your loved one’s ACAT assessment information.
Contact the aged care home directly and find out how their application process works. Alternatively, the team at Seniors Pathway can provide you with guidance about what you’ll need depending on the homes in which you’re interested.
Let us take care of the paperwork for you. Speak to a Seniors Pathway consultant to get started.
What is an ACAT assessment?
All those who would like to apply for a place in an aged care home that receives government subsidies (which covers most homes across Adelaide) will be required to undergo an ACAT assessment.
An ACAT assessment involves a member of the Aged Care Assessment Team meeting with the older person (plus their support person/s) to understand their health care and mobility needs, medical history, what assistance is currently being provided and how they’re managing with everyday tasks. They’ll use the information to complete an Application for Care form, and develop a support plan to make recommendations about the services and care options that will best support your loved one.
The outcome of the ACAT assessment will determine what kind of care your loved one has been approved to receive and whether they are eligible for government assistance with home support service fees and/or aged care accommodation.
We can walk you through every step of the journey and help you find the right permanent aged care.