If you are finding it harder to manage in your own home, or have recently been in hospital, you and your family might be considering permanent residential care in an aged care facility.
Aged care facilities, also known as aged care homes or nursing homes, are vibrant places that are full of life. They are not like the nursing homes of previous years. There are strict rules put in place by the government to ensure that all residents receive the care they need, and that facilities are safe places for you to live. All aged care facilities must be accredited by the government to make sure the quality of care remains high. Facilities are also audited regularly to check their processes and staff.
Staff are on hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to assist you with anything you need, from showering or moving around, to eating or participating in activities. Registered nurses take care of any wounds, stomas, medication management, chronic illness, and continence.
A team of diversional therapists organise games, shows, themed events, bus trips, movies to keep you entertained and social, although there are plenty of opportunities for some time to yourself with lounge rooms, libraries, and other quieter activities on offer.
Just like at home, you can have visitors at any time or day or night, go out to the shopping centre, or have an outing with your family, as long as you are well enough to do so. You can also have nights away from the facility, although there is a limit of how many nights away you can have in a year. Your client agreement will have more information about this, and other things to consider.
When you have decided on permanent residential care, you will need to go through an application process, where you will get assessed by the government to determine your eligibility to move into aged care. Once you have been approved, you will need to apply to an aged care home provider.
When the government assesses your eligibility to move into an aged care home, they will also advise you if you’re eligible for subsidies, and how much you will be asked to contribute towards the cost of your care. Depending on your income, you can also be asked to pay a means tested care fee and an accommodation charge. The amount you are asked to pay will also depend on the room that you pick; whether it’s a single room, or a room you share with another person. Read more about the cost of aged care facilities.
If you’re not sure if residential care is right for you, there are a variety of options available to you if you’re finding it difficult to manage at home.
Home care options allow you to stay in your home for longer, with some assistance from aged care providers who visit you in your home to help you with cleaning, getting dressed, medication management, nursing, or allied health, such as physiotherapy or occupational therapy.
You can also try out living in an aged care facility using residential respite services, where you move temporarily into a facility for a few days or weeks. You will live with permanent residents and see for yourself whether you like the culture and activities on offer.
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