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Individual care top priority, relatives say

Most Australians who are looking at aged-care options for their relatives are spending half a year perusing facilities – and suitability is a key checkpoint.

That’s according to the report Aged Care: How well do you know your customer?, presented at Macquarie Graduate School of Management and conducted by Galaxy Research on behalf of Simavita.

A majority of respondents for the report saw level of care suited to their relative’s needs as the key factor in selecting one provider over another.

“Therefore, it is important for aged-care facilities to tailor their care to the individual resident’s needs,” Twilight Aged Care chief executive John Stuart said. “Those doing the research into aged-care options are educated, informed individuals, in many cases prepared to take their time to find what they feel is the right facility and the right care for mum, dad, aunt or uncle,” he added. “These next of kin are committed to finding the best possible accommodation for their relations, whom they often feel have suffered the hardship of the post-war years and have put in many years of hard work and doing it tough.

Participants in the study also indicated that aged-care services need improvement. Around a third found that leisure and lifestyle activities needed attention, as did management of incontinence, avoiding falls and managing mobility.

“There are opportunities for aged-care facilities to use new technology to improve the quality of life of residents in aged care, and to tailor care to the needs of the individual resident,” Stuart said.

Twilight Aged Care started using SIM (Smart Incontinence Management). The technology enables staff to schedule toileting for when it’s needed. “When new customers ask us what makes us different, we explain how technology is being used to match quality care to the individual’s needs, which is exactly what this new research identified as a deciding factor in choosing a facility,” Stuart said.

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