Tips for choosing the right aged care for you or your loved ones

Finding the best aged care for your loved one can be a difficult journey – for all of the family.

According to Choice, Australia’s leading advocacy group, the fear of moving to unknown surroundings, painful accidents, hospital visits and long waiting lists are just some of the issues faced daily by elderly Australians.

Despite the lack of any industry ratings data, anecdotal evidence suggests – and many health care professionals agree – that when compared to residential aged care, in-home care is the better option.

"Add to that persistent, high-profile reports of nursing home problems and you may well feel you need some expert advice when choosing the best care options," Choice says.

According to Alzheimer’s Australia CEO Carol Bennett: “Alzheimer’s Australia has heard from our consumers that there are higher levels of satisfaction with home care services than with residential care,” says Bennett.

(To find out more about the costs of in-home care, click here.)

In 2010, the NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care surveyed 565 home care clients and found that 95 per cent were satisfied, with 61 per cent of these respondents reporting a very high level of consumer satisfaction for in-home care. This was put down to the quality and reliability of staff, the standard of services provided and the level of care received.

In-home care also has the advantage of allowing people to stay at home in familiar surroundings for as long as possible. This should be a consideration when evaluating which care plan is best for you or a loved one.

The first step is contacting to organise for an assessment, which is done by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).

Some tips for evaluating aged care:

  • Compare a selection of care providers
  • Do your research and use a checklist
  • Check the ability of the aged care provider to provide additional services, such as nursing and allied health
  • Check staffing arrangements carefully
  • Check staff training for special care services (dementia care for example)
  • Check frequency of access to doctors and other medical specialists
  • Seek consumer feedback on services
  • Ensure you know your rights and responsibilities

For further information on the cost benefits of Home Care versus Residential Care, click here.  To estimate your Home Care fees, click here.

And, for a handy list of questions to ask a Home Care Provider, click here.

About Oxley Home Care:

Oxley Home Care, established in 2006, is a family-owned Sydney company and is an Approved Government Provider for aged care services, specialising in Dementia Care.

Oxley Home Care provides Dementia Care, Private Care, Nursing, Allied Health and Veterans Home Care to enable people to live a quality life independently in their own home and stay connected to their local community.

Oxley Home Care is an Approved Provider of Home Care Packages funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing and holds an allocation of Home Care Packages. These packages are designed to provide assistance to the elderly, to remain living independently at home. To gain access to a Home Care Package, the government requires that you undergo a comprehensive assessment by your local Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT).

To arrange the assessment, contact My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or visit the My Aged Care web site.

Gilian Douglass

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