Find a nursing home

Aged care facility residents, families and friends of residents should expect quality of care and life for themselves and/or their loved ones, and engage in advocacy efforts to raise the standards of care.

You can make a big difference in the delivery of quality care.

Learn about a nursing home:

Aged Care Crisis provides what we consider are a reasonable set of resources to consult for evaluating nursing home choices - especially if you are a new nursing home consumer. Many other sources exist. Libraries and websites are good sources of additional information on nursing homes.

Consult the following sources to gain information about each of your chosen Homes (as well as information about the industry itself). By using these sources, you will further your knowledge about the facility's stability and management practices -- and you will also be introduced to general industry conditions:

1. Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency: Aged Care Facility Reports

The Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency (ACSAA) are the independent body responsible for managing the accreditation process and ongoing supervision and support for aged care homes in Australia. The core functions of ACSAA are to manage residential aged care accreditation, liaise with the Department of Health and Ageing about services that do not comply with standards.

  • Since 2005, only the most current report is now published on the website: Accreditation Reports
  • You can request a copy of a report which is not published on the website by emailing national@accreditation.org.au (state which home, suburb or town and state, and the date of the archived report you are seeking (if you know it))

2. Department of Health and Ageing: Sanctions Information Applied to Nursing Homes

Sanctions are penalties or actions against a residential care facility or proprietor for non-compliance with standards under the Aged Care Act 1997. The Department of Health and Ageing provides a very brief listing of sanctions applied to the facility. Unfortunately, some care facilities performance is so poor, that multiple sanctions are applied (these facilities are generally allowed to continue to operate, despite serious deficiencies, and in some cases, multiple sanctions applied for a multiple and serious deficiencies.

Current Sanctions:

Archived Sanctions:

 

3. Media Reports

The news and media are gradually acknowledging aged care issues – you can also perform a search on all news and media articles by checking to see that the nursing home and/or provider has not been cited for poor performance: News Limited, News Limited Archive Search, ABC News Online, to mention a few. The National Library of Australia publishes a list of all Australian newspapers online.  Alternatively, you can use our advanced site search to locate similar information.

4. Court Records

The Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) provides free internet access to Australasian legal materials. AustLII publishes public legal information -- that is, primary legal materials (legislation, treaties and decisions of courts and tribunals); and secondary legal materials created by public bodies for purposes of public access. You can check to see if there are any court cases that include the provider's name - in many cases the nursing home is quite different to the provider name.

Another good source is the: Administrative Appeals Tribunal - a body that someone can go to if they do not agree with a decision that has been made about them by an Australian Government agency (eg, providers often appeal what they consider to be harsh penalties imposed by the Department of Health and Ageing, or the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency). It is a high level independent body which reviews actions of Australian Government administration. It is not a court. The AAT only has jurisdiction to review decisions where it is given jurisdiction by another piece of legislation, for example, section 85-1 of the Aged Care Act 1997.

Recent Example: Saitta Pty Ltd [Belvedere Park Nursing Home].

Ensure the best care:

  • Visit often. Experts say just having family members present in a nursing home is one of the most effective ways to ensure better care. Some experts advise showing up at different times of day so you can better get a sense of all aspects of your loved one's care. And if you can't be there, find someone else who can - other relatives, the patient's friends or even private nurses or aides.
  • Help with meals or other aspects of care when you can.
  • Bring food to the nursing home. You know best what your loved one likes to eat.
  • Be involved with planning your loved one's care. Attend care planning meetings, where nursing homes outline the steps they will take to care for each resident. Plans should include what will be on a patient's meal plan, how the food will be served and who will assist with each meal.
  • Understand the issues that could complicate nutritional care. Loss of appetite and weight loss can be signs of depression or side effects from certain medications. Ask the nursing home to evaluate those issues. If the resident has difficult swallowing or dental problems, ask for a dental or dysphagia exam.
  • Monitor your loved one closely for physical changes such as abrupt or prolonged weight loss that could indicate malnutrition or dehydration.
  • Make sure the nursing home knows what you know. If you notice a relative losing weight, be sure to point it out, along with any other symptoms.
  • Be assertive. If the home's staff does not respond to your concerns, talk to the nursing home manager. If the manager doesn't help, talk to the home's owner. Bring your concern to the home's family council, if it has one.
  • Case conferences. Family members should request regular case conferences (at least quarterly) - more often if circumstances warrant it. This provides family with an opoortunity to discuss any care issues in a more congenial manner. Ask to go through the care plan and any other documentation such as medication records; weight charts; special needs records. This is an opportunity to request that health professionals involved in relatives care attend the meeting to answer any care questions the family might have.
Newer articles:
Older articles: