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?
- 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?
- Do the menus give you a regular choice of dishes and styles?
- Do the menus include foods items you like?
- Can you have a meal in your room?
- Will special diets be catered for?
- Can you make a snack whenever you want?
- Are meals only at set times?
- Are regular social events and outings organized?
- Do the activities interest you? (e.g.. yoga, music, handicraft, outings)
- Is there a choice of TV and/or lounge rooms?
- Is there a quit room for reading or games with no TV?
- Is the furniture clean and comfortable?
- Is there more than one TV room for choice of programs?
- Is there a non-smoking policy?
- Will you be able to practice your own religion?
- Are there regular visits by a practitioner from your religion?
- Can you have a telephone in your room?
- Is there a place you can telephone without people overhearing you?
- Do you need a special telephone and can it be provided (e.g. for hard of hearing).
- Can your family and friends see you at any time?
- Are there private meeting places for you and your guests?
- Can you make/offer your guests a drink or snack?
- Can your visitors stay for a meal or even overnight?
- Can you have a say in the way you are looked after/helped?
- Is personal care available when you need (washing, dressing or going to the toilet)?
- Can relatives or friends help you if you want?
- Can you bring your own care giver/attendant?
- Does a hairdresser or barber visit regularly?
- Can you keep the same doctor you have now?
- Will you have access to a doctor at all times if required?
- Is there referral facility or tie up with a hospital?
- Does a doctor visit the old age home regularly?
- Do other health professionals visit the old age home regularly.
(e.g. dentist, physiotherapist occupational therapist, yoga and naturopathy expert etc.)
- If your care needs change can you continue to live at the old age home?
Terms and conditions
- What would be covered in your agreement?
- What are the facilities guidelines, fees and costs (Refundable/non refundable)?
- What does the daily fee cover?
- What services are included in your payment?
- What extra services do you pay for?
- When is the accommodation bond payable?
- How much might the bond be?
- Are standard resident fees payable in advance or arrears?
- What happens if you run out of funds?
- How long a trial period of respite care can you have?
- What notice must be given if you want to leave the old age home?
- In what circumstances you might be asked to leave?
The past few decades have seen rapid transition in social structure in India. The break down of age old social security systems(joint family) has left an increasing number of older individuals looking towards some sorts of long term facilities for shelter such as Old Age Home.
There are many factors which contribute to the alienation of the elders in the family and society. The breaking down of Joint family system is one such factor. Other factors such as migration of young couples from rural areas to cities in search of better employment, elders are sometimes too incapacitated or unwell to look after themselves or get medical care especially in an emergency and more recently many youngsters have moved to many countries abroad, so if they want to they cannot accommodate their parents in their own homes etc. compel many elderly to look for other alternative for shelter. In this critical circumstance Old Age Home is the only available option for them.
The number of Elderly living in Old Age Home has steadily increased over the past few years. Many Elderly persons who are looking for such kind of accommodation for shelter have no knowledge and information about the type of facility ,type and Quantum of accommodation and addresses of the Old Age Home available in India.
There are several types of Old Age Homes: Free or Paying; owned by Government or Civic authorities or Charitable organizations. While some civic bodies and charitable organizations maintain these shelters for destitute and homeless; others provide alternative to older people needing secure accommodation with ability to buy the services.
The present Directory of Old Age Homes brought out by the HelpAge India Provides complete and reliable information of all the Old Age Homes details that are available at present all over the country. The Directory is divided into different zones such as: North Zone, South Zone, and East Zone for fast and easy search.