Pretoria, 21 October 2020: Confusing a retirement home or home for the elderly with the functions of an aged care facility happens frequently. Each provides completely different levels of aged care and levels of specialisation in frail care or ailments such as dementia. A lack of understanding of what level of care is required for an individual’s unique needs – and what the right facility maybe for them – can result in a dangerous lack of care. The experts at Fleurenville Aged Care Centre in Montana, Pretoria, explain the differences between these facilities.
If we’re lucky, we’ll all get to live to a ripe old age, enjoy our retirement and live out the rest of our days in peace and happiness. However, sometimes we need a bit more help by the time we get there: the body and the mind don’t always follow our plans for the future. For some of us, the time may come when we need to look at the options of moving our older family members to a place where they can receive the care they need. In some cases, a retirement home or an elderly community is sufficient for your loved one’s needs, but in some circumstances, more attention and care should be available. That is when you might consider an aged care facility.
“Aged care involves a lot more than just living in a retirement home,” explains Jan Heystek, CEO of Fleurenville Aged Care Centre. “Aged care is about ensuring that our resident’s needs that may include medical, social, emotional and safety needs and day-to-day living are met.” In a retirement home, there is often the option to purchase a flat/unit. You are responsible for yourself, and you can generally request extra services such as medical care, housekeeping or extra meals at an additional cost. “At Fleurenville, our units are not sold. Our units are available on an inclusive monthly rental basis with different levels of care available,” Jan explains.
At a retirement home, you may be responsible for your medical appointments and getting yourself there and back. At an aged care facility, there is a team of registered nurses and qualified doctors at the centre on a 24 hours basis. If an external doctor or specialist is needed, we assist the resident in getting to the appointment and back safely. Jan says, “The medical needs of our residents are of utmost importance to us. Not only do we have a permanent medical team at the centre, but we also have dedicated units for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients to ensure that each resident receives the best quality care they can get.”
The safety of the elderly is a consideration when deciding between a retirement community and an aged care centre. Older people may not have the balance they once had, and their bodies can be very fragile, making them more susceptible to accidents like falling and hurting themselves. “The safety of our residents is taken very seriously. We have 24-hour-monitored CCTV across the centre, panic buttons, WiFi connectivity, state-of-the-art smoke detection systems and access control with geo-tracking to monitor the safety of our people constantly,” says Jan.
What about the difference in costs, you may be asking yourself. At first glance, it may seem that aged care is much more expensive than living in a retirement home but if you break down the costs, you may find that it can be well worth it to go this route and may even work out cheaper, depending on your needs. If you buy a flat in a retirement home, not only do you have to pay your bond every month but you also need to take care of all other living expenses such as food, medical costs, etc.
“The monthly fee at Fleurenville is not just rent. It includes your spacious and private unit, two meals a day, housekeeping, laundry, innovative security features, medical assistance from qualified specialists and professionals, 24-hour care by highly trained personnel and more,” says Jan. “If you consider the costs of assisted living or hiring a nurse to assist you, this alone could cost you between R8,000-R10,000 a month. These services don’t include any extra doctor or specialist appointments, medication or any other living expenses. If you also take the price of the flat and all other costs of living into consideration, it can work out much more expensive than what you originally thought.”
Jan adds, “If your elderly loved one is still rather independent and can live day to day without assistance, then a retirement village may be the best fit for them and the costs may work out less than an aged care facility. If they need more care and need to be looked after by professionals, a place like Fleurenville will be the best place for them at the best price.”
There are many options to consider when deciding to move an elderly family member to a place where they can be cared for in their old age, and each case will be different, depending on the needs of the individual. Fleurenville Aged Care Centre offers a wide range of services, from assisted living to round-the-clock Alzheimer’s and dementia care. For more information on Fleurenville Aged Care Centre or more on aged care, visit www.Fleurenville.co.za or call them on 012 943 8700.