Article posted:Jun 24, 2019
Category: Residential Aged Care
Aged Care Homes/Nursing Homes in Sydney and New South Wales
Understanding Aged Care
If you're new to the aged care system, have a read of our comprehensive Understanding Aged Care Guide which covers everything you need to know about aged care. From the aged care accommodation options, how aged care is financed, whether pets are allowed and many more.
What is a high level care/nursing home?
When someone can no longer care for themselves independently due to age, they may have to enter a high care or low level care home. Whether it is due to physical, emotional or financial reasons, additional help is needed. These homes have formerly been known as hostels (low level care) or nursing homes (high level care) but are often referred to as low level care (hostels) or high level care (nursing homes). Often the decision to move into a nursing home is made once other people (often family members) can no longer provide for an elderly person. You can read more about vacancies in residential aged care homes and how long you can be expected to wait before gaining a place in a home. Family members need to know that finding a suitable home can be a 2-3 month process, sometimes even longer.
Where do I start?
When searching for nursing homes in New South Wales, the first question that will be asked is if your loved one has ‘been assessed’. ‘Assessed? What does that mean?’ you may ask. If the nursing home is Government funded, then anyone looking to move into the home will need an Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS/ACAT) to determine their level of care. However, there are also non-government funded residential aged care homes which usually do not require an assessment.
Finding a Home
Finding an aged care home is similar to finding a home to rent or buy. Just as you would not buy the first house you see, or expect to find something suitable within a few weeks, the same applies to finding residential aged care in New South Wales. It is important to decide upon the areas you feel would be suitable and then try to visit as many homes as possible within those areas. The home as well as the neighbourhood and other near-by amenities (i.e. shopping strips, public transport, post office et cetera) as well as the culture of the home will need to be considered before moving in.
What type of care is provided?
The type of services provided at residential aged care will vary depending on the type of care (low or high level) and if the home is an extra service home. If the resident is in low level care then generally accommodation and personal care is provided. Personal care refers to help with things such as occasional nursing or dressing and showering.
There are some services which must be provided at no additional costs, regardless of whether the resident is a low level or high level patient.
- Basic accommodation (i.e. beds, mattresses, linen, chairs et cetera)
- Laundry and cleaning service
- On-call staff and emergency assistance
- Building and grounds maintenance
- Mobility and communication assistance
- Personal care (i.e. help with going to the toilet, bathing, dressing and eating)
- Social activities
- Meals (must also cater for special diets)
If the resident is a high level care resident, then the following services must be included (in addition to the basic services listed above)
High level care homes provide services for those who need continuous nursing care.
- Water/air mattresses
- Continence aids
- Basic medications and dressings
- Therapy services (e.g. speech therapy/physiotherapy)
- Registered nurses trained to assess, plan and manage care
- Oxygen and oxygen equipment
Search for Residential aged care in New South Wales.