Effective ways to find an aged care centre for your loved one


Posted on: 02 May 2019 by Emma Parsons

Finding an aged care centre for a loved one can be a stressful time for each of you. Your loved one must be somewhere where they feel comfortable, are well looked after and are close to the people and things they love.

Finding an aged care centre for a loved one can be a stressful time for each of you. Your loved one must be somewhere where they feel comfortable, are well looked after and are close to the people and things they love. However, with so many options in facilities it can be hard to narrow down your options and be sure of the facility that you eventually choose. If it’s time for you to look for an aged care facility, there’s several things you should consider.


Understand your loved ones needs

The first thing you need to do when looking at aged care facilities is to understand what your loved one’s needs are and what type of care they will require. As the aged care sector grows, more and more specialised facilities are opening up. Matching your loved ones needs to a facility’s services is key to a positive experience.

Firstly, the physical and mental health of your loved one should guide your care choices. For example, certain facilities have specialised dementia wards, or provide palliative care within their facility. Of course, you will also want to consider things like cultural and religious requirements and if things like diets and religious practices will be accommodated.  


Staff Ratios and Training

At the moment, there’s no Australian laws that dictate a staff-to-resident ratio in nursing homes. Therefore, finding out the ratio is important, but you must know how to get the correct information. If you ask in a vague way, you can potentially be given numbers that include the kitchen and laundry staff. The best way to ask is for the nurse-to-resident ratio, or the care staff-ratio.

There’s no one ratio that you should be looking for, and it will depend on how much care your loved one requires. In a high care situation one-to-five is a good starting place. Extra Service Facilities, such as Kew Gardens often have a higher staff to resident ratio than regular facilities.  


Get a firm impression

First impressions count, and while you shouldn’t base your whole decision on one impression, it’s important to take note of what you see and feel when you first enter a facility.

The facility should look, feel and smell clean and fresh. You should be able to enter the facility at any time, and staff should be friendly and transparent. It can be a good idea to observe the facility for longer than just your tour. You should be sure that things aren’t hidden from you so don’t be afraid to talk to other residents and see if they’re happy, relaxed and healthy.


Look at the food

Some people say that the quickest way to check the quality of an aged care home is to check out the food. The quality of food that residents get can vary greatly from facility to facility. Check the menu of even visit the facility near meal times so you can see the food in person. Find out if residents have different options for meals and if cultural and ethical preferences are respected.  


Enquire about activities

These days, an activities list is fairly common place in nursing homes. While most facilities will show you a list of activities, it can be hard to know just how well the events are run, or if they are even being run at all.

Asking about the events is important, but you can also ask to sit in on some events to get a feel for what the events look like. Overall, check to see that the events line up with your loved one’s interests and will provide them with fulfilling experiences.


Finding an aged care facility can be tough for those involved. If you’re looking for your loved one, you will want to make sure they are moving into a home where they are safe, well looked after, and somewhere they enjoy being. At the same time, your loved one may be nervous and worried about losing their independence. Taking your time to look at a range of facilities and looking at how each facility operates will help ensure you pick a reputable facility.


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