I was recently speaking with someone whose mother was looking to move in to aged care. She chose a place she liked the look of, and as it transpired the wait time was 10 years to move in. The time it would take to move in to aged care is only one of many factors to take in to consideration when making this decision.
Moving in to an aged care home is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Here are some factors you may like to consider when looking into an aged care home (and at the bottom of the article, some links to local support websites that may help).
What do you want? What is important to you? Do you enjoy the ocean – maybe there? Do you want to be near friends and family? Perhaps being able to walk to the library. Do you want to maintain as much independence as possible? Think about what you want first.
ASK FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Talking with family and friends that you trust is always a great help. They should want the best for you and to listen to you. If you don’t have family or friends nearby who can help, we suggest you contact Age Concern.
You don’t have to take the first place you see! Have a look while you’re feeling well and thinking ahead. Consider what is important to you – being near family and friends, being near the ocean, near a hospital, if pets are allowed, what the staff are like, what the meals are like. You can put your name down for a number of places, you don’t have to take the spot if your place comes up. If you put your name down, do not part with any money or deposit until you have spoken with a trusted friend or family member.
Anything can happen at any time, if you have an idea of what you think you may like in your future, let those who will help you in future know. Then, if something does happen, they know what your wishes are.
While you may be well now, consider one level housing, trip hazards, the width of doors and hallways for walkers and wheelchairs, handles in bathrooms, accessibility to appliances, clothing etc (too high, too low). Perhaps one person needs more help that the other, or they need help looking after their partner.
How much work do you want to do on a place? Some living arrangements have lawns, cleaning, laundry and meal services. However, gardening is important to some people and some may want to retain as much independence as possible. Perhaps you love cooking and want to continue to do this.
What are the entry costs, ongoing fees and exit costs. What can you afford? These are all things to consider. Also speak with a lawyer or independent financial advisor who can help you plan and understand legal and financial aspects of your decisions.
There are various options out there – support at home, retirement villages and housing, residential care. Remember that you have options. If you’re not happy with the advice or options you have received, ask the next person. Contact a family member or friend you trust or contact Age Concern.
We have provided some links below which may help you: