As we grow older, our lives can change in big and small ways. Over time, we may need to look carefully at our lifestyle and the type of care we need.
What is an assisted living facility?
An assisted living facility is a senior living community designed for people who want to ‘age in place’ and enjoy a high level of personal freedom while receiving help for essential daily care as they grow older.
Sydney offers a wide range of senior assisted living options, from resort-style, luxury elderly apartments to a quiet independent assisted living facilities in the suburbs, and intimate cottages that welcome a small number of residents.
Of course, you want to feel confident that your loved one will feel safe, happy, independent and well-cared for in their new home. So how do you find the right assisted living facility to call home?
How do I choose the right assisted living facility in Sydney?
It’s worthwhile to put time and effort into finding the right fit. This eBook is designed to help guide you through the process.
Here are our suggestions:
- Start your decision-making process by making a list of priorities. What are the most important features you are looking for in a new home? Does your loved one have any specific needs, for example, dementia care
- Create a list of assisted living options in your area, ideally close to your loved one’s friends and family. Not sure where to start? We have a helpful list of Sydney assisted living facilities in this eBook.
- Research each facility thoroughly. Don’t forget to look at online reviews!
- Create a list of questions to ask staff and residents living at the facility.
- Interview and visit each facility in person.
We recommend interviewing multiple assisted living facilities before making your final choice.
To help make this overwhelming process easier, here are 70 questions to consider when choosing an assisted living facility.
70 Questions To Ask When Interviewing An Assisted Living Facility
1. Is the community close to shops, doctor’s offices, a pharmacy, and other important places?
2. Is the location convenient for family and friends to visit?
3. Is the neighbourhood quiet, safe and pleasant?
Atmosphere and Environment:
4. Does the assisted living facility feel welcoming?
5. Are the rooms spacious?
6. Do rooms have plenty of lighting and attractive views?
7. Is the building’s exterior clean and attractive?
8. Is the assisted living facilities interior clean, tidy and well-maintained?
9. Are the grounds attractive with plenty of greenery, plants and trees?
10. If the assisted living centre is a community, how does the community design and layout feel?
11. If the assisted living facility is in a single home or building, Is it well-designed and easy to navigate?
12. Are their internal plants, and do they look well cared for (free of dust and well maintained)?
13. Is there a nice garden or outdoor area that provides a place to relax?
14. Do most residents have a private room or share a room?
15. Are there plenty of breakaway spaces for residents and visitors, to provide a balance of privacy and social interaction?
16. Can residents personalise and decorate their own apartment?
17. Does each room have a private bathroom, or are bathrooms shared? Are they designed to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers?
18. Do individuals have the opportunity and space to cook meals for themselves.
19. Are there a wide range of activities available for residents? How often do they happen?
20. How are these activities chosen? Are these activities tailored to residents’ needs and interests? Can residents volunteer ideas?
21. Are residents given a choice in whether or not to participate?
22. Do residents have regular day trips or day excursions?
23. Do residents have regular interaction with the outside local community?
24. Do volunteers visit the community?
25. Are there shared pets in the community (dogs, cats, fish, or birds)?
26. What is the quality of the food? Are all provided meals made with fresh, quality ingredients?
27. Is the food appealing to the senses?
28. What is the food budget?
29. How often is the menu changed?
30. Is there flexibility in the menu to accommodate specific dietary needs or special requests?
31. How many meals are provided daily?
32. What is the dining experience like?
33. Are the dining rooms clean and attractive?
34. Can visiting family members join the residents for meals?
35. Can you try a sample of the food?
Building Design and Safety:
36. Are hallways well lit and easily navigable, with handrails and plenty of room for wheelchairs?
37. How many leisure rooms are there where the residents can spend time with each other and with visiting family members?
38. Are the common spaces in the community pleasant and appealing? Can you imagine your loved one using these common spaces?
39. Is there adequate closet and storage space?
40. Is there a private room available for family celebrations or private family dinners?
Staff and Medical Care:
41. What is the staff to elderly resident ratio?
42. Are staff familiar with each resident’s medical needs and unique requirements?
43. Do residents have the chance to form trust and meaningful relationships with care providers?
44. Do carers make an effort to connect with residents and get to know them personally?
45. How frequently do residents receive visits from doctors, nurses and medical specialists?
46. How do staff safely administer, monitor, and assist a resident in taking medicine?
47. What physical, occupational, or therapeutic services are available on-site?
48. What is the staff turnover at the assisted living facility?
49. How many hours do the staff work on average? Do staff work double shifts?
50. Are they required to multitask or have more than one job function?
51. What support does the assisted living facility provide staff to support their wellbeing?
52. Are staff professionally qualified?
53. How long do care staff receive training?
54. Do staff receive mentoring and on-going professional development?
55. How are medical emergencies handled?
56. Does the assisted living facility have a clearly stated procedure for responding to medical emergencies?
57. Is there an arrangement with a nearby hospital?
58. Are staff equipped to handle communication issues with residents from non-English speaking families?
59. What are the assisted living facility’s online reviews like? If there are negative online reviews, what is the organisation’s response?
60. What makes the assisted living community’s services different from competitors?
61. Talk to the residents – Are they genuinely happy?
62. What furnishings are provided? Are the furnishings high-quality and comfortable?
63. What mattress is used and are allergies taken into consideration?
64. Do the rooms offer heating and cooling?
65. Are there ample lifts and ramps?
66. How many panic alarms are in a room?
67. Does the home have fire safety sprinklers installed?
68. Do the fire exits work? If your elderly loved one is restricted in movement, how long would it take to get to the nearest fire exit?
69. Is there easy parking available for residents, including handicapped spaces?
70. If your family member will be bringing a car, is parking provided?
Elderly Assisted Living Options in Sydney
Not sure where to start with finding assisted living accommodation in Sydney? We’ve collected a list of the top assisted living facilities in Sydney to get you started.
Montefiore has offered clinical and allied health services and a personal approach to aged care for 130 years. The residential care staff ratio is up to 100% higher than the industry average, with more than 120 allied health professionals who work to deliver holistic, personalised care. They provide:
- Residential care (with specialist dementia care)
- Home care
- Independent luxury retirement living
Montefiore in Randwick is a modern retirement and senior living community, offering classic, deluxe or suite-based apartments for independent living. The facility caters to residents with early-stage dementia.
Nestled in 3 and a half hectares of peaceful, leafy gardens, Montefiore in Hunters Hill provides residents with a tranquil, active lifestyle.
Woollahra Manor is conveniently located in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, offering independent and assisted living in an exclusive boutique hotel-style environment.
Maroubra Shores offers quality, government-subsidised residential and respite care for elderly people with higher care needs.
Phone: 1800 978 711
Advanced Care Australia is a family-run aged care organisation that strives to enhance clients’ independence and quality of life, with high care, low care, dementia and respite care options available.
Georges Manor is a modern assisted living facility that blends seamlessly within the residential neighbourhood of Georges Hall.
Barden Lodge is a multi-award-winning Aged Care residence in Sutherland Shire.
With the atmosphere of a boutique hotel, Bondi Waters brings a fresh and contemporary approach to aged care with smaller resident numbers and higher staff ratios, with an enviable location near Bondi Beach.
Offering all the elegance of a boutique hotel, Edensor Gardens provides luxurious assisted living in Sydney’s south-west.
Contact Advanced Care
Phone: 1300 628 485
Bougainvillea Strata Retirement Village
Bougainvillea Strata Retirement Village is a family-run, strata-titled retirement village. They specialise in independent living apartments and serviced apartments (assisted living) with an emphasis on quality of life and freedom.
Phone: 02 9953 5741
RetireAustralia offers three luxury retirement villages with assisted living across New South Wales, each with a unique character.
Belrose Country Club offers a sophisticated retirement lifestyle in a peaceful, leafy suburb, close to Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Surrounded by leafy bushland and peaceful, suburban streets, Bramblewood Retirement Village offers a laid back and rewarding lifestyle on the Upper North Shore of Sydney.
Queens Park Retirement Village offers comfortable, peaceful independent living in Waverley.
Phone: 1300 931 497
Wesley Mission’s residential aged care facilities provide high quality care for people who need assistance with everyday tasks, with a special focus on supporting clients to achieve their health and wellbeing goals and maintain their independence.
Alan Walker Village comfortable, peaceful independent living in Sydney’s north-west suburbs.
Frank Vickery Village is nestled on 6 hectares of beautiful landscaped area in the Sutherland Shire. The village is a ten-minute drive to Cronulla Beach and conveniently close to major shopping centres and restaurants.
Wesley Taylor Village is comfortably located between Narrabeen beach and lagoon on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. This boutique retirement village offers 24 apartments, set amidst beautiful gardens.
Phone: 02 9263 5555
Final Thoughts: Selecting An Assisted Living Facility
Selecting an assisted living facility can be difficult, but it’s helpful to know your priorities and what is important to you. Take the time to research, read online reviews and ask thorough questions. Going for a visit — or several — can help you determine if the community will be right for your loved one. Proactively asking questions will help you find the right assisted living facility: one that supports a high quality of life and well-being and suits your loved one’s desired lifestyle.