With a better idea of the key concerns we've outlined above, you might find yourself ready to begin selecting and evaluating providers. Here are some tips.
Talk to friends and family, your doctor and other community health professionals before contacting the ACAT team for their recommendation. Together you can best determine your level of need whether it be in-home help or residential aged care.
When evaluating care options, especially residential aged care options, contact a wide selection of providers for a greater sense of comparison. Try to talk to current clients and their families for some consumer evaluation. Do not rely on the marketing literature alone.
When visiting aged-care homes arrive prepared with a series of questions.
Given there are no minimum staff or skills ratios, check staffing arrangements carefully. If you're quoted staff numbers, check to see that the number of staff providing direct care do not include laundry or kitchen staff. In a site visit, take time to notice staff and their demeanour and ask about staff turnover.
If specialist care is required for conditions such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease or for clients who may be blind or deaf, ask about staff training and qualifications as well as day-to-day practices.
Ask about the frequency of visits from nurses, doctors and other specialists.
There is no feedback more valuable than that from current consumers. Ask to be put in touch with a family who already use the service and talk to them about their experience. In addition, engage in some investigation at the facility, for example, ask to visit at meal times to observe the environment and sample the meals (offer to pay if necessary).
Those using aged care have the right to be looked after properly, treated well and be provided with high-quality care and services. Understanding your rights and responsibilities as well as those of the service provider.
Aged Care is a large complex system with many steps and the occasional queues to achieve the outcome you need.
In order to navigate the system properly you need to be highly proactive.
Make the effort to fully understand each step. If you believe that you are not being served well - then you must explain that to the service providerSource: Choice Australia