Aging and indeed aged care, are subjects that most of us probably prefer not discussing at length. This may be the case while we remain healthy and independent, with years of comfortable home life ahead of us. Sadly, many of us tend to leave it until an unplanned event forces an emergency discussion upon ourselves, and families.
As experienced participants in the marathon of life, one of the best things we can do is have this conversation early. This means meeting with our loved ones and openly discussing our wishes should more care is required.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options for seniors who require some assistance with managing each day. From in-home services to low or high residential aged care there are many ways to deliver assistance.
Indeed, the latter years of our lives deserve to be enjoyed to the fullest. And, for many residential aged care services are the best pathway to achieve this. As the name suggests, residential aged care provides residency to senior Canberrans who can no longer live at home. It typically includes accommodation, personal care, and access to range of clinical and allied health services.
While there are many wonderful options in the local region, selecting the right one is important. To assist with this process, we’ve suggested some assessment criteria along with a list of the best in residential aged care facilities in Canberra.
What makes a great residential aged care service?
The best residential aged care facilities provide their residents with the freedom, dignity, and respect that they deserve. They cater to every possible need and go over and above to ensure their clients latter years are well lived. The following criteria may help assess your options:
- Exceptional personal care. First, and foremost is the level of care offered to clients. Great residential aged care facilities provide exceptional standards of personal care, nurturing the health and wellbeing of clients. They adopt a resident-centric approach, prioritising their full set of needs around the clock. This translates to fundamentals like assistance with every-day tasks from eating, to washing, and dressing. It also includes a focus on diet and nutrition with meals cooked and prepared on site. Moreover, it extends to the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs of clients with recreational activities, social interaction, and entertainment.
- Comprehensive clinical care. The leading residential aged care homes offer comprehensive clinical care. Clinical care often focusses on the management of age-related health issues, pain management, and greater independence. This includes a high client-to staff ratio of doctors, registered nurses, and nurse assistants who are always available. Moreover, many of the best facilities offer layers of specialist care, particularly for conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s disease. It also includes regular access to a range of allied health services that optimise mobility and independence. Think along the lines of occupational therapists, audiologists, optometrists, speech pathologists and podiatrists. Further services could also include dietitians, physiotherapists, and psychologists to aid broader wellbeing.
- Considered surrounds. When it comes to residential aged care, calm and considered surrounds are so important. Residents should feel comfortable and at ease in their new environment and should expect nothing less than they would at home. From beautifully designed private rooms full of quality furnishing and fixtures; through to vibrant communal spaces for both solitude and social activity. Look for well maintained grounds, full of natural light; offering a selection of tranquil outdoor spaces to visit. Remember, great surrounds add so much and should never be underestimated.
- Qualified & skilful carers. One of the attributes that separates the best from the rest is people. The best residential aged care facilities recruit only highly qualified and skilful staff who love what they do. From the cooks through to the carers each layer of service should deliver safe, respectful, and quality services to their clients. The best carers go beyond simply helping with tasks; they foster social inclusion and the overall wellbeing of residents. Perhaps most importantly is the manner in which carers operate, with dignity and respect for residents being front and centre.
- Reputation & accreditation history. When it comes to aged care services, a good reputation is hard to earn and even more challenging to keep. You will find that the best residential aged care providers have a reputation that precedes them. Consult family, friends, and colleagues and combine with some robust research and you will soon have a list of the most reputable options in Canberra. Another important factor to consider is the providers current accreditation standing, and history. Great residential aged care providers successfully achieve accreditation status year after year.
The best residential aged care services in Canberra
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
With more than 65 years’ experience providing aged care services, Goodwin offers the highest standard of aged care for individuals in their later years.
Goodwin’s residential care facilities are industry-leading in quality of care, comfort, and attention to detail, which has seen Goodwin receive multiple awards for architectural and clinical excellence.
Goodwin has also received national praise as the first aged care provider to employ a full-time on-site pharmacist. This initiative is part of Goodwin’s commitment to innovation and continual improvement, resulting in higher quality of care and peace-of-mind for residents and families.
Through open and honest communication, Goodwin ensures services are specifically tailored to each individual. Understanding resident’s preferences and interests influences activities and entertainment, dining menus, and of course, clinical care plans.
Meals are prepared fresh, on-site by professional chefs using quality ingredients, with menus reviewed by residents and Goodwin’s dietician to ensure they are balanced as well as delicious.
Most importantly, Goodwin’s staff are warm, caring, and qualified with a strong commitment to ongoing training. Residents have access to high-quality nursing support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Residents also have access to a skilled team of doctors, physiotherapists, dietitians, and other allied health professionals.
The friendly, experienced team at Goodwin attend to their residents’ needs so they can enjoy their lives to the fullest.
As Sean O'Donnell wrote on Google, "Great aged care services in Canberra. Very modern and innovative in service delivery."
Canberra Aged Care
Canberra Aged Care is a fully accredited purpose built 114 bed facility offering permanent and respite care in the leafy Canberra suburb of Lyneham. Their safe and caring environment caters to the needs of wide range of elderly residents and their fully qualified staff specialises in dementia care.
Canberra Aged Care boasts an extensive team of registered nurses and certified nursing assistants offering round the clock care. They also provide a range of allied health services with everything from speech pathologists to dieticians available. Moreover, residents benefit from an ever-evolving activities program.
Jackie McLoughlin shared her experience with Canberra Aged Care on Google, “A calm, relaxing place, beautiful gardens, happy residents and FANTASTIC staff who care.”
RSL Life Care Fred Ward Gardens
RSL LifeCare is a charitable organisation caring for over 7,500 residents across numerous retirement villages and aged care homes throughout NSW and the ACT. They pride themselves on their ability to create connected, supportive, and vibrant communities that offer personalised care for residents.
If you or a loved one needs medical, rehabilitative, or restorative care, Fred Ward Gardens in Curtin could be for you. As a community for 115 residents, they cater to both high and low care needs with specialist dementia care available.
Renata Davidson shared this feedback on Google, “Mum has just moved in and after a couple of days of adjustment to her new surroundings, is enjoying her new life. Very helpful staff, kind and friendly….”
Southern Cross Care Ozanam
Conveniently located in a quiet Garran cul-de-sac, Southern Cross Care Ozanam is a premium residential aged care facility. With a local legacy that spans over 50 years Southern Cross Care have built a reputation for supporting the physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual wellbeing of its residents.
Boasting private suites with hillside, city, or garden views the ambiance is but one component that makes Southern Cross Care Ozanam special. Offering round the clock care and an extensive range of health and support services Southern Care Ozanam makes for an excellent choice.
Debbie Thomas shared this wonderful sentiment on Google, “I just wish my mum had longer at Ozanam. The staff and care were faultless. Thank you for the dignity and respect you showed our lovely mum. You can't know how much it meant to us.”
Burrangiri Aged Care Respite Centre
Burrangiri Aged Care Respite Centre provides short-term care as a break for both the carer and the person being cared for. Conveniently located in Rivett, residents enjoy a change of scenery in a restorative environment that offers social and recreational activities with like-minded people.
With on-site catering, beautiful gardens, friendly staff, and access to a range of extensive services, Burrangiri’s small community is perfect for carer respite, emergency respite and post-hospitalisation care. For flexible short-term respite care that allows residents to remain independent look to Burrangiri Aged Care Respite Centre.
Mark MC shared this wonderful feedback on Google, “My Dad has been at Burrangiri for a couple of weeks. This is his second visit there and as it is respite care; he is sad to leave. We visited there today and everything he stated about the place was correct. What a sense of relief that is. He is in great caring hands. He raves about the food, the care, the warmth, both physically and emotionally. Yes, it is a good place, and I would recommend it to anyone.”
To explore other aged care alternatives, look at our article on the best retirement villages in the region. For extra assistance while still at home be sure to read our article on the best home aged care services. And, if you’d like to expand your social circle perhaps our article on the best seniors programs and activities in Canberra may be of interest.
Your experience with residential aged care services in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the residential aged care facilities listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What services do residential aged care homes provide?
Residential aged care homes provide all the care and services needed to meet their clients needs. This includes accommodation, hotel-type services like meals, laundry, cleaning, along with social activities and personal and clinical care. Services offered will vary depending on the nature of the residence, and if it offers low or high-level care. Importantly, residential aged care provides help with everyday tasks to meet day-to-day needs of clients.
What does residential aged care typically cost?
As each facility determines their own prices within a prescribed limit; costs for residential aged care do vary. Costs generally depend on the facility selected along with an estimate of your income and assets. Typically, costs are broken down into three components:
What is an aged care assessment and how does it work?
To access government subsidised aged care services you need to be assessed to determine what kind of care best meets your needs. This assessment is generally requested on behalf of your doctor and is conducted by the Aged Care Assessment Team, or ACAT. The ACAT is staffed by doctors, nurses, social workers, and other health professionals who meet with you to assess the nature of assistance you require. An ACAT assessment can approve your eligibility for Residential Aged Care (both permanent and respite) as well as alternative home care packages.
What is the difference between a retirement village and residential aged care?
A retirement village is primarily self-care in nature, designed for residents who are generally independent and require little assistance. They are often comprised of a group of private homes and offer a range of shared facilities for recreation along with spaces for ‘come to you’ services such as doctors, physiotherapists, or hairdressers.
Unlike retirement villages, residential aged care provides accommodation, health care and support services to residents requiring round-the-clock supervision and assistance. In this way residential aged care tends to be more needs driven, with potential residents requiring an ACAT assessment along with some level of either personal or nursing care.
What are the steps to accessing care in a residential aged care home?
A great starting point is a bit of research to understand the sector, how the aged care system works, and available options. Next is to contact My Aged Care, a government portal that is that starting point for everything age care related, and the only way to access government funded services. From there they will conduct an initial assessment and provide you with an Aged Care account and ID. Once registered the Aged Care Assessment Team will contact you to organise and conduct an aged care assessment. Following this assessment, you will be notified of your eligibility for aged care services along with what you can access. The last step is to start looking for a residential aged care provider that meets your needs.