The Impacts of Aged Care Provider Instability on Consumers
The costs of delivering aged care have increased. These costs affect both the consumer and the provider. While we all talk about the costs associated with moving into an aged care facility, there’s actually another side to it.
Financial Challenges for Providers
Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) recently published information that highlighted the instability of aged care providers. The findings of the LASA financial risk survey suggested that 80% of residential aged care providers are facing financial challenges due to funding constraints, with providers concerned that they’ll have to withdraw services if things don’t change. Another national survey showed that 45% of providers are running at a loss. This will inevitably impact on the quality and delivery of care to residents.
Making an Informed Decision When Choosing a Provider
With all of this in mind, it’s important to search for a facility that offers comprehensive, quality care at all times. It’s also important now more than ever to make a confident decision regarding the aged care facility that’s right for you. There are some direct questions that you might feel nervous to ask when you’re choosing accommodation, but remember that you have every right as a consumer to make an informed decision about where you’re going to live.
First and foremost, it’s a great idea to get a feel for the environment. Not only should you take a tour of the facility, but see if you can come for lunch one day, and maybe stay on for some afternoon activities. While you’re there, observe how busy the staff are, and whether they appear to be friendly and responsive to residents. Are the staff answering the call bells efficiently, and does the facility appear to be clean?
Also, ask what you can bring with you if you choose to live there such as photographs, furniture and wall hangings. It’s really important to make your unit/ room feel as homely as possible. It will make the transition easier. And if you want to bring a pet with you, there are facilities that allow you to do this too.
Talking About Aged Care Costs
The questions that some people find more challenging to ask revolve around costs and care. But remember that you’re moving in there to be cared for, and you’re in fact paying for that care with some subsidy from the government. At the end of the day, it’s your health and happiness that matters. Residential aged care costs are complex and can be very expensive. Aged Care Prepare have further information on their website regarding residential aged care costs to help you with your decision.
Opt For Residential Respite Care
If you urgently require care, don’t necessarily feel as though you have to make a hasty decision on a residential aged care facility. There’s always the option of residential respite care while you’re searching for an aged care home. Moreover, staying in the facility that you’re interested in under residential respite care allows you to try before you buy. By choosing respite care you’re not locked into any permanent contracts if the facility doesn’t feel right.
In summary, when you’re searching for an aged care facility and a quality provider, take your time and don’t rush into any hasty decision. Make a list of provisions that are important to you, and be sure to ask the providers those questions. Consider taking a family member to the interview/ tour with you for support. And always consider spending time at the facility before you sign any long term agreements with the provider.