Residential care facilities … the questions to ask

Residential care facilities … the questions to ask

19 February 2016 13:59

You’ve seen the brochures and driven past the building; but the only way to really know whether a residential care facility might be the right one for you is to look inside.

Some facilities conduct regular group tours, others do one-on-one.

Some of the things to consider might include: the cleanliness of the common areas and resident’s rooms; how the staff interact with the residents; whether you notice any smell; what the residents are doing - are they engaged in activities or mostly in their rooms?; do you think the residents look or sound happy?; do you like the feeling of the place?

New Vs Old

New facilities can make others look a little, well, old.

But is old a bad thing if it means smaller with fewer residents and a more homely feeling, or if it is in the inner city rather than out in the suburbs where family and friends fear to tread?

Where an older facility may have 60 residents, many newer facilities will have more than 150; although these may seem smaller because the buildings may be divided into clusters or communities of around 40.

Food and activities

Everyone likes good food. It is also the first thing many residents complain about.

The preference is for meals to be prepared on site and to have choice.

Choice is also important when it comes to activities. Hopefully there is something that grabs your interest.

Aside from the care – which we will assume as being good– is this the place for your mum, dad or relative?

It is easy for family to be excited by some of the bells and whistles, but consider what is important to the potential resident. After all, it is going to be their new home.

Bina Brown, director of aged care placement company

‘This article has been reproduced with permission from Bina Brown of Third Age Matters’


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