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What is residential aged care and when should we consider it?

June 1, 20234 minute read

Here is a guide to what residential aged care is, the benefits it provides and some telltale signs that suggest it should be considered for someone you love.

As the age of Australia's population has increased, so too has the prominence of government-supported and private care services. The capacity of the residential aged care sector expanded from 167,000 places to 201,000 in just 10 years according to the Institute of Health and Welfare (IHW). This increase offers more options to those people who might benefit from access to the daily care and lifestyle support provided by a residential aged care environment.

What is residential aged care?

Residential aged care services are subsidised by the Commonwealth Government to provide a dedicated environment for those who can no longer have their care needs met at home. Residential aged care can be a long-term move for individuals who need ongoing access to healthcare or can no longer manage the day-to-day requirements of living at home. This service is also offered on a temporary basis as residential respite to provide a break for in-home carers.

Residential facilities employ nursing staff and specialist personnel to support the physical and emotional wellbeing of residents. Alongside basic healthcare services, many aged care homes also support individuals in need of dementia care and palliative care.

But the benefits of residential aged care facilities go beyond improved care options - homes also offer a range of activities and programs to encourage improved social life for residents. These factors have led to a 17 per cent rise in the number of Australians living permanently in dedicated residential care facilities between 2007-2017 according to IHW data.

How can residential aged care improve quality of life for someone you love?

Moving away from home can be a tough transition - but with the right care provider, making the move to a residential care home can be a worthwhile choice for everyone involved! Here are some of the benefits of a switch to residential aged care:

  • Those in need of care have improved access to healthcare services
  • Aged care homes are specifically designed to provide easily- accessible spaces and welcoming social surroundings for less independent residents
  • Carers can use these facilities as a temporary care option should they require a break. It also offers families peace of mind the person they love is in safe hands should their care needs become more pressing

How to identify if your dependent may need residential aged care

It can be difficult determining if the one you love needs to adapt their care situation. However, there are telltale signs that an individual may need a change suited to their care needs and lifestyle:

  • Deteriorating health: If someone gets sicker over time, it likely indicates their care needs are becoming more complex
  • Listlessness: If the person you’re concerned about lives in a remote area or by themselves and they are not as mobile as they used to be, they can become bored and depressed. This has a negative effect on mental and physical health long term
  • A messy home: The responsibility of managing a household can become too much to handle as time goes on. If housework goes undone for a long period of time, it may mean the individual you love is no longer able to take care of their home as they would like and need a space that's easier to maintain

What Anglicare offers

Anglicare's residential aged care facilities offer all the support needed. Our homes provide dedicated services for all levels of care, including dementia and palliative care.

Additionally, we understand that every individual has different social and personal needs - which makes creating a homelike environment one of our main priorities. That's why we offer residential options across Sydney and Illawarra, and create a stimulating social program for each resident that includes a range of activities to suit all lifestyles and interests.

And the core value that unites our residential aged care service options? That every resident feels safe, is valued, and treated with dignity and respect. We work with the needs of our residents and their families to make the care experience as pleasant as possible. To begin the conversation about a move to residential aged care, contact the Anglicare team today!

Anglicare acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the original and ongoing custodians of the lands and waters on which we live and work.

Inspired by the gospel of reconciliation in Jesus Christ, Anglicare's vision for reconciliation is a nation in which Australia's First Peoples are restored in dignity, respect, empowerment and opportunity.