A residential aged care home is a place for people who don’t need to be in a hospital, but can’t be cared for at home.
Most aged care facilities have nursing aides and skilled nurses on hand 24 hours a day.
Aged care homes provide accommodation ranging from single rooms with en-suites to rooms with shared bathroom facilities. Some homes are set up like a hospital. The staff provides medical care, as well as such therapies as physical, speech and occupational therapy. There might be a nurses’ station on each floor.
Other facilities try to be more like home. They try to have a neighbourhood feel about them. The may even allow couples to continue living together. Often, they don’t have a fixed day-to-day schedule, and kitchens might be open to residents. Staff members are encouraged to develop relationships with residents.
Some aged care homes have special care units for people with serious memory problems such as Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia. Some will let couples live together.
Some facilities provide care for both short term and long-term stays. An example of a short-term stay would be one following hospitalisation to repair a fractured hip, which would require a stay of two to four weeks for physical therapy. An example of a long-term stay would be care for someone for whom care could no longer be safely provided in the home, or for someone who is not expected to recover the ability to care for themselves.