The conversations of life

Unhappy with your aged care? You do have options


Last Saturday night I met the daughter socially of a resident in a Sydney aged care home.

She was telling me that her mum had succumbed to dementia and together with her sister they had assisted her into an aged care home that was nearby. Sadly their mum appeared to rapidly decline and spent days in a chair by the window.

The daughters noticed that their mum was receiving very little stimulation and when they discussed this with the management they weren’t entirely happy with the answers.

Their solution – they took their mum out of that home and selected another a little further away.

This was a completely different story. Their mum was immediately engaged in activities each and every day and almost overnight she found her old self.

Just a few months later their mum was the guest of honour at a restaurant for her 90th birthday and she was able to engage with all the guests, living in the moment.

The point of the story is we do have options in aged care, including the freedom to move from one service to another if we are not satisfied. This includes home care as well as residential aged care.

There are no penalties and no restrictions. Our advice: first impressions are usually the right impressions. Waiting to see if things get better doesn’t usually work. Sure, a conversation with management about one adjustment in routine or support is okay but if you feel the ‘system’ is not going to change then perhaps you should.

It is a lot easier than you think.

A practising aged care physiotherapist for the past 13 years, Jill has worked in more than 50 metropolitan and regional aged care homes. She has also toured care facilities across the US and Africa. She is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff that serve them.

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