Aged Care Facilities – Not for profit vs Church base vs for profits
When considering aged care facilities and providers, we are often asked who should we choose? Should we look at not for profit, for profit, church based organisations?
You should look where you think your loved one will get the best care for their needs and what they are able to afford. If they have dementia, you want a facility that provides quality dementia care.
When we look at care facilities for people their charitable status or not is irrelevant and if you can afford the income tested fees & all the other fees, you will be paying that whichever facility you are contemplating.
Often the for profit facilities may be newer & fancier, so you may find the RAD (refundable accommodation deposit) may be higher, as this is related to the quality of accommodation, remember our mantra – focus on the care not the environment!
We do find the newer facilities are built to impress children, not necessarily the older person, some facilities look and feel more like 5 star hotels, rather than homes.
You may find the not for profit stock is older, though the facilities currently being built by not for profit and church based organisations are also quite smart. You will particularly notice this in the more affluent areas.
There still seems to be some tension between the different sectors, particularly the not for profits toward the private providers.
The reality is the sector needs the mix of these providers to ensure competition and to ensure the care needs of the increasing number of elderly people are met.
I do have some reservations around aged care providers starting to list on the Australian Stock Exchange and it will be interesting to keep an eye on. My reservations are due to the major cost drivers within aged care. As residential aged care is a very labour intensive industry, if there is pressure for a return to investors, the pressure may well be on labour costs.
What is important for individuals is care needs are met, the care is affordable, the environment is one where the person is comfortable. Just as when you visit someone’s home, does it feel like a home? The same applies when visiting an aged care facility, you can tell a lot by walking around, asking a few questions and having a good look.
This article first appeared on Retirencare