Choosing a Aged Care Services for a loved one can be one of life’s most difficult decisions. Although the quality of care is the primary concern, there is, unfortunately, usually a financial consideration as well. Most larger cities have an abundance of care homes as well as an abundance of horror stories that have made the news, which exacerbates the dilemma. Check with the state licensing board for care homes to ensure that there have been no complaints or lawsuits against the facility.
The following criteria can be helpful in selecting the care home that will best suit the needs of your loved one:
Condition of facility.
Health and physical condition of residents.
Availability of doctors.
Availability of patient records.
Quality and quantity of nursing and attendant staff.
A care home should be licensed, clean and orderly, but some are not. In addition to the first impression of cleanliness, there should be evidence that the facility is deep cleaned on a regular basis. Floors, corners and the like should not have a buildup of dirt and the facility should not have an offensive odor.
The facility should give evidence of being well-maintained. In other words, there should be no broken windows, broken door locks, plumbing problems and the like. If the facility is not properly maintained, there is a good chance that the patients may not receive proper care either. Delayed building maintenance could also indicate that the owners have cash flow problems, which could adversely affect the care given the patients.
Although the facility is a care home, the residents should be clean and have evidence of receiving proper hygiene. Patients should not have bed sores or offensive body odor. The patients should also be encouraged to be as active as possible and there should be evidence of this, such as a posted activity schedule or some patients’ handiwork displayed.
Both doctors and medical records should be readily available. Physicians should make regular visits to the patients and there should always be an on-call physician available.
The facility should have a proportionally adequate number of registered nurses, as well as nurse’s aides and attendants, to adequately address the patients’ needs.
Quality care homes can be expensive. If a facility is substantially cheaper than others, it may be because their quality of care is substantially inferior. Although tours are usually scheduled, it is wise to make one or more unscheduled visits to ensure that the conditions observed on the tour are normal rather than staged for the purposes of the tour.
Choosing a care home is a difficult task on several levels. However, thorough research will result in the quality of care that your loved one deserves as well as peace of mind for yourself.