What is Residential Aged Care?
Residential care is a term used to describe the general care and support provided in an aged care home. You might also hear an aged care home referred to as a nursing home or an aged care facility. Essentially, aged care is help and care in a friendly environment.
In an aged care home, you receive assistance most commonly including "personal care" which involves help with needs such as washing, dressing, mobility assistance and so on.
Besides personal care, there are a range of other services you can receive so that you’re not only healthy, but happy.
Some services you will come across in aged care include:
Who provides the services?
There are a range of people helping to keep residents happy and healthy in aged care homes.
From a care perspective, it all starts with the care workers.
Personal care workers support the work done by nurses and are there to provide personal care to you in your home. They also provide emotional support, get involved in a person’s general day-to-day activities and daily living like putting clothes away in the wardrobe or even just having a tea.
If they have any concerns about health (mental or physical), they pass on that information to nurses, who can work with care managers and even the facility manager to ensure your needs are being met.
Lifestyle coordinators deliver a program of activities that is both stimulating and entertaining for the residents. These can be anything from bingo nights, card games, bus trips or even just going out for an afternoon stroll. It’s the lifestyle team’s job to make sure everyone is happy and having fun – it's no good just sitting around all day doing nothing!
The pastoral care team is another important touchpoint. They provide spiritual and emotional care and support to residents, families and staff. They’re an extra ear to talk to if anyone needs it. They too are actively involved in the lives of residents and play an important role in their spiritual and emotional wellbeing.
A pastoral team isn’t available at every aged care home, but something St Vincent’s offers as a part of their service.
Nurses check and plan your care, and manage your general health. They’ll administer medication, sit down with you and work out a care plan and are the go between for families and residents. They will also liaise with GPs and Allied Health to discuss any issues with your health.
They are experts in the clinical side of aged care, more than the other members of the team.
Allied health workers
A range of different Allied health care comes onto site at various stages assisting residents in aged care. Speech therapists, physiotherapists, podiatrists and more, are all focused at different stages to make sure loved ones are healthy and looked after.
Allied health workers focus more on specialty areas of health and wellbeing.
While these groups of staff are the main touchpoints, administration staff, cooks (or chefs at St Vincent’s), maintenance officers and a host of other staff all make up an aged care home.
At St Vincent’s for example, we pride ourselves on making sure every staff member makes our aged care homes truly feel like home. Whether it’s a friendly smile or a genuine ask of how a resident’s day is going, every St Vincent’s staff member understands their role in being an active part of making St Vincent’s a place where everyone can feel welcome, valued and safe.
Do I actually need Residential Aged Care?
Whether you require aged care or not is all up to the level of care you require.
If you’re still independent, you might even consider an alternative like receiving care in your home. St Vincent’s Care offers both home care and residential aged care.
To work out whether you’re in need of additional support, it’s important that you first get an ACAT (Aged Care Assessment Team) assessment.
This part of the process can frighten people a little bit. An ‘assessment’ sounds confronting.
If you’re feeling nervous about your assessment or about the next steps to take, please call us.
Still having trouble? Just need answers?
Call St Vincent’s on 1800 785 399 and our team can:
Ensure you get the right level of care for your needs
Simply explain the three different ways people pay for aged care
Discuss how you can maximise your government subsidies
Get the right information, quickly and easily through My Aged Care