When it comes to aged care, it’s necessary to be assured that your loved one is happy, safe and well looked after. Understanding the scope of the regulations that underpin aged care and community care based organisations is a vital important step in appreciating why stable and familiar environments are so important. Knowing that these conditions are met ensures your peace of mind.
In most Western societies, aged care facilities operate in an environment that is highly regulated. It is sad to note that this is in stark contrast to the conditions that aged people face in some other parts of the world. In Australia, aged care and community care facilities are governed by relevant legislation. Organisations who provide this care are highly circumspect to the rigorous penalties that are enforced should they act outside the legal framework.
A need to keep up-to-date with paperwork (due to consistently improved industry standards) and the existence of police checks are mandatory for aged care workers. In understanding the role and responsibilities of aged care and community care providers in Australia, it’s prudent to take some time to review the current legislation.
The importance of ‘feeling at home’
Moving on from the hard facts, it would be heartening to know that the aged care facility where your much loved family member resides does go that one step further in their level of care. That is, they provide conditions that are comfortable, nurturing and respectful. The environment that they maintain is wholly conducive to their residents’ attainment of happiness. This informative article explains the importance of particular human freedoms and frames the ideal scenario for aged care as being one that provides a ‘home-like-environment’.
Why structure is necessary
Sometimes residents are entirely reliant on others to provide primary care.
In addition to this, they can often be left confused and bewildered due to cognisant issues, most likely manifested in the form of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. A high level of structure and consistent care is therefore integral for these residents..
For those residents that are equipped with a fully functioning mental capacity, there is still a definite need for a controlled measure of routine to be provided. This takes the form of regular exercise and mental stimulation. A sedentary lifestyle is attributed to an increased risk of falls and associated injuries - which can be severe. There is also the resultant and very real fear that can invade the psyche of such residents, a dread of becoming increasingly frail and bedridden should they take the risk to get up and move around.
Human rights, freedom and expression
Aged people in these situations must be afforded the ability to remain independent where possible, to be able to be social at their discretion, and to have the scope to pursue interests that feed their mind, body and soul. Aged care facilities should also recognise the freedom for sexual expression and allow for a level of privacy in respecting this right. It’s not something that is often spoken about, but it is very important nonetheless. For a light-hearted take on this issue this article from The Guardian explains it’s never too late to find love.
What to ultimately look for in aged care
The tenets of dignity and self-expression form the essential ingredients in preserving the human spirit as the years wear on. Aged and community care facilities need to provide a level of care that fosters human rights and freedoms alongside the requisite conditions prescribed by legislation.
They need to employ people who are skilled and compassionate, invest in the highest standards of infrastructure and resources, and provide recreational activities that are both accessible and diverse. This ensures longevity and sprightliness for those that are facing their twilight years. When it comes to aged care, a stable, familiar and ‘homelike-environment’ is absolutely essential.
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