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Old Age Home Directory

Finding the Right Home: Some Guidelines

The decision to move to an Old Age Home (OAH) is never an easy one. For many it is often one of the last major decisions taken in one's life. That is perhaps what makes it so vital. With different options available today, particularly in the bigger cities and towns, it is important to make a well considered and informed selection. What are the critical questions one should ask?

The questions in the checklist that follows should be used as a guide to some of the things you might want to consider or ask the manager of a home. In addition, you should visit the home to assess these issues. The list of questions is not exhaustive and you may consider other questions that will be relevant to your circumstances. Furthermore, it is also important to spend some time thinking about your current and likely future requirements before you start looking for a suitable Home.

First Impressions (After Visit)
  • Is the atmosphere friendly, safe and comfortable?
  • Do any individual residents seem to be unstable or be causing disruptions?
  • Are all are as well lit? Is the temperature inside comfortable for the residents?
  • Do the residents seem happy with the way staff communicates with them?
  • Are residents treated with respect as well as in a friendly manner?
  • Are there enough staff?
  • Do the staff seem trained for elder care, and are they caring and attentive?
  • Can one or more of the staff speak you language?
  • Are there other people with similar needs to yours?
  • Is there transport provided or within easy access?
  • Is there easy entry and exit from the premises (level ground, etc.)?
  • Will it be easy to see your family and friends?
  • Is it easy to get to local shops, a club, temple, dispensary, hospital, church or other places/events that you may want to go?
The Facility
  • If the facility has more than one floor, is it easy to navigate?
  • Are there call-buttons in the bedrooms, bathrooms and common areas?
  • Is the building security appropriate for the suburb and location?
  • Is there smoke detectors and fire extinguishers?
  • Is there easy wheelchair access, including the garden/s?
Nature of Accommodation
  • Can you have your own bedroom?
  • Do the rooms have an attached bathroom and toilet?
  • Can you meet the other person to see that you get on before you share a room?
  • How are shared rooms screened for privacy?
  • Is there provision for married couples and singles?
  • Can you bring your own furniture and belongings?
  • Is there secure storage?
  • Can you have a TV and telephone in your room?
  • Is there air conditioning or can you have it installed?
  • Are toilets near all communal rooms?
  • Are toilets, baths and showers aged friendly and private?
  • Have you seen the “old age home operational manual” about visitors, smoking, etc.?
  • Do the residents have a say in the development and enforcement of the rules?
  • Will a member of staff be assigned to your welfare?
  • Are night staff awake or on call?
  • What qualifications and training do the staffs have?
  • Is the home certified/accredited?
  • Can you get up and go to bed when you choose?
  • Will your room be cleaned at least weekly?
  • Can you help around the nursing home or hostel if you want to ?
  • Are daily papers delivered?
  • Is there a mail service?
  • Is it possible to buy small items such as gifts and stamps?
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