It’s okay to be picky

8 December
Mary Baumann

Aged care is not something you give much thought to until you need it. And while it would be great if everybody has had the conversation with the partners, family members or friends long before it’s necessary, it’s rarely the case.

And so when the time comes for you to choose aged care for yourself or for somebody you care about it, it’s okay to ask questions. You can’t be too demanding. You’re finding the right place to live. You wouldn’t have purchased a home in your 20s without getting the structural report, checking out the neighborhood, assessing transport links and finding out what the local restaurants were like.

If you had a family you might have considered schools, cricket clubs, Scout troops or somewhere for you all to go and let the dog go wild. You made sure you had space in your home for you to paint, for all four of your daughters to fit in front of the bathroom mirror or for you to spend hours on the phone to friends abroad while perched in a spot of all day sunlight.

Choosing aged are is exactly the same. It might not be an entirely welcome move but you have the right to the same choices. Can you get to church, or do they have a priest come in? Will your friends be able to visit? Is the room comfortable? Can you bring your own pictures? Can your family visit? Are there enough sockets to power both your oxygen tank and your iPad?

You need to like the staff at the home – they’re essentially your neighborhood. If you’ve always loved time in the garden, finding a room on the third floor of an inner city building is not going to work for you no matter how reputable the home or the provider. If you’re sociable but now largely bed ridden, perhaps you want a companion room rather than a single?

When you start to assess homes, your care needs are important but important is making sure you have found a place to live that is a good fit in every way that counts most for you.

So be picky. Ask questions. Challenge assumptions. Take your time. And then ask more questions.

And always ask the most important question “Is this right for me and mine?”

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