How do I find a suitable nursing home?

My mother has to move into a nursing home and I don?t know where to start. Can you help me by explaining the process?

Hi Suzie,

I would like to add on to the previous comment just to share my experience with aged care. I have gone through the process with my dad when he turned 73 last year and all i have to say is that… it was really difficult but it’s possible. I contacted The Aged Care and they were very helpful in answering all of my questions, and were patient despite there being so many queries on my end. I chose Star Health because some of my friends have told me they are a reliable and trusted health provider. Now thinking back about everything, I’m just so relieved that it’s all sorted out… I’ve met a lot of wonderful and helpful people along the way despite it being such a tough journey. My dad is well taken care of and I have peace of mind… I wish you all the best and good luck.

I’ll leave Star Health’s link here in case you find it helpful:

Warmest Regards

Hi Suzie,

Firstly I’m sorry that we have not responded sooner. For some reason we only just saw your post. There are a couple of things to get you started. If your mother is still at home with you, you could consider having care come to you, instead of trying to find somewhere for her to move to.

There are government supported home care packages that are available in 4 levels. The top level, which is level 4 supply a considerable amount of care that comes straight to you. They can help with bathing, dressing, washing, cleaning, medical needs etc but also social things such as interest groups along with exercise programs etc. If this sounds like something that may work, the first step is to call My Aged Care and have an ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) assessment. They will come to where your mum lives and ask you and her all sorts of questions, mainly about what is difficult to do, what she misses doing due to her fragility and what worries her. ll notify you (through a letter) the government supported care available. There are costs for this care, but as I mentioned this is government subsidized to make sure that anyone who needs care is able to receive it. By the way, if you are 64, when you turn 65, you also will be eligible for Home Care. If you don’t think that Home Care is the answer, then let us know and we can provider some starting pointers about an aged care home/ nursing home, if that is what you think is best.

Again, were sorry for the delayed reply. We know that this is a very stressful time and you’re not alone feeling that.

We hope this helps.

My mother who is 89 has had a bad fall August last year and her motor skills have deteriorated to the point where she needs lots of help dressing, showering, getting in and out of bed, I have her living with me but find I am unable to cope she has already slipped off the bed and I could not get her up without help, she is a war widow and with DVA how do I go about finding a home for her, she has already been in a home, unfortunately due to lack of staffing in the home things led to her giving two weeks notice and moving back home, she was in much better health then, where do I start she doesnt have the bond up front as she lives in a retirement home, we had the home up for sale for 4 months when she was in care and could not sell it, I could do with some advice on where and how to start, the last time she was in care DVA had her assets incorrect and she paid quite a considerable sum fortnightly plus site fees at the retirement village, she was very stressed when she saw her bank balance go down consiy, she was also told if she is still alive after the bondis paid whoever signs the agreement has to pay the debt until she passes, that would be my name on the agreement and I am a self funded retiree as I had to give up work to care for mum and at 64 years of age jobs are not easy to find. I am starting to get very stressed at present with the situation we are in.

Thank you so much Jill for your advice, you have been a tremendous help. I have decided to place my mother in this facility as a trial using residential respite. If all goes well and I see that she is well cared for, I will transition her to permanent residency. Thanks again for your

Welcome to our forum. 1. Your question regarding hand rails is a good one. I am not sure about cross infection (though that is taken seriously in aged care homes) but according to a leading architectural company within the aged care sector many aged care homes are choosing not to install hand rails in hallways as they regard them as increasing a residents chance of falling. This is because whilst the handrail will support them along the wall length as soon as they reach a gap in the rail (eg a doorway ) the chance of them falling increases greatly. It is manadatory that handrails be installed in all bathrooms. It is worth mentioning that when a resident starts using a hand rail it is usually a sign that they are having trouble with their balance. This is a common development as we age. If this is the case they may require a walking aid such as a walking stick or walking frame to assist with mobility. This is a much safer option than using the rail.Elderly people with dementia, who wander, such as youer, however may have difficulty using a walking aid as they have difficulty knowing how to use it due to their cognitive problems. Or they regularly forget they have it and walk without unless reminded by vigilant care staff. For these reasons a thorough assessment of your mothers physical abilities should be done on entry to the home by the site physiotherapist and an appropriate care plan prescribed for her. Be assured that falls are a large part of management of the elderly and aged care homes have practices in place to address them. 2. With regards to staff/resident ratios there has been much debate within the aged care sector about this and there has been a recent parliamentary enquiry. Currently there are no mandated minimum staff/resident ratios in aged-care homes across Australia with the exception of Victoria which has regulated RN numbers in their government funded homes. According to the Aged Care Act individual facilities are required to maintain an adeskilled staff to ensure the care needs of their residents. This will vary from one home to another depending on the mix of the clientele.In a March 2016 survey of over 800 aged care homes across Australia StewartBrown ascertained that the average time spent in face to face care from nursing/care staff (RN, EN and AIN ) was 2.89 hours per day per resident. When you do a site visit allow time to observe the staff and environment of the home. You are within your rights to talk to the staff directly about their workplace. It will not take you long to decide if it is a happy environment with well cared for residents and committed carers.To have all your questions answered to your satisfaction you can ask for a meeting with the Manager or liason personnel. It is always a good idea to have a list of questions with you so that you have all your concerns covered. And remember there is a process stipulated by the government (spot checks, audits and 3 yearly accreditation) to ensure that all aged care homes maintaertain standards.All the very best for you and your mother. I hope this helps.

Hi, I am new to the forum and cannot create a new post so I am adding a question to an existing post regarding finding a nursing home, I hope that’s ok. I am looking for a home for my 87 yr old mother who is very frail and suffers from advanced dementia. I had a look at a dementia specific facility yesterday and it looked ok but I have a few questions:1. My mother is a wanderer, despite her frailty, so she will be walking around. They allow wanderers to walk around a circular area with bedrooms on one side of the wall and bathrooms on the other side of the wall. There are no handrails on the walls between the rooms, which I think is important to minimise a risk of falling. When I raised my concern, I was told that all new facilities no longer have handrails on walls so that germs are not spread when hand hygiene is not maintained. Is this a fair response? How important are handrails on walls of aged care facilities for the elderly?2. Is a staff to resident ratio durinegistered nurse reasonable in a high care dementia facility? How do I know that this ratio is maintained during weekends?Thank you for your adv

The Australian Government subsidises a lot of the cost of aged care services in Australia however depending on your personal financial circumstances, you are expected to contribute toward the costs of your care and accommodation in an aged care home (nursing home).The amount you can be asked to contribute to the cost of your care and accommodation in an aged care home is decided by the government, based on an assessment of your income and your assets. The more income and assets you have, the more you can be asked to contribute.Nursing homes charge a range of fees, including a basic daily fee; a means-tested care fee; and an accommodation fee known as a Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD). There may also be additional fees for extra services such as specialist bedding, mobility devices, incontinence aids, nursing services and allied health services.The schedule of fees and charges is published on the Departments website and you can also download a copy of the current schedule and fees on Agedbsite.You will never be denied the care you need because you cant afford it. If you cant afford to pay for aged care services, the Commonwealth government will cover the costs of your government subsidised aged care home (nursing home).Fees set by the government are increased twice a year 20 March and 20 September each year in line with increases to the Age Pension.You can find out more info on ouraged care costs overviewpage for a concise summary. Alternatively, for a comprehensive step-by-step guide y

Thanks. But I’m really confused about the financial arrangements aspect. Can you explain it for me?

The following steps give an outline of the process you will need to follow and keep in mind that you are likely to have to pay part of the care costs. Get all your documents in order to act Create a Client Record at myagedcare Get an ACAT assessment through myagedcare Do a 130 question Income & Assets Test through the Department of Human Services Search for a home you can afford and has vacancies Commit to a contract. It is easy to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of finding and moving to an aged care home so agedcare101 has created 9 Steps to an Aged Care Home to help you navigate the process: