Key industry players have begun looking into embedding aged care and wellness aspects into communities to cater for Malaysia’s ageing population growth.
As aging is a fact of life, requiring different care, it is imperative to ensure the housing option selected – for yourself or an ageing loved one – is worth every ringgit.
Malaysia’s aged care is still in its infancy, and one can expect plenty of kinks as developers and care operators work out the right models for their senior housing and aged care facility offerings.
As you age, looking for housing options is different from looking for a normal property. Hence, you need to educate yourself on the essentials of senior housing and that you are getting your value’s worth for what you pay.
Understand Your Needs
It is important to do your research on the options available to enable you to age-in-place. Your needs and requirements may change as you age, hence you need to identify what is important to you to live a fulfilling lifestyle.
This will give you an idea of the comprehensiveness of the care delivery framework of the senior living community. When searching for the right senior housing, do ensure that you understand the difference in options, covering services provided to mode of delivery.
Care, Operations and Approach
Quality standards in the way service is provided is fundamental. This includes activity planning, meal, preparation, care provision, health and safety, equipment usage, front and back office management, and staff planning.
It is important that the overall administration of the senior living community assist in easing the care recipient’s transition from the home to an aged care facility. Another key pillar to look into is whether the facilities are licensed and operated by skilled staff.
Currently, a typical nursing home can charge anywhere between RM3,000 – RM4,500 a month for basic care services in a twin-sharing room, while a single-bed room is about RM5,000 to RM9,000 a month. Hence, you need to ensure the care you’re receiving matches your money’s value.
In terms of the senior living community’s healthcare focus, Malaysia has typically revolved around being illness-centric, whereby the emphasis in on treating illness. However, there is an emerging shift in senior care focused on restoration, rehabilitation and support for healthy aging.
It places emphasis on the care recipients’ participation to put effort into being healthy and make choices for themselves, while healthcare providers give support by providing the necessary services.
When choosing the appropriate housing for your aged loved one, you need to look into the management’s approach to care and how is it reflected in the community’s environment. What are the thought processes embedded in the care delivery? Does the community or facility encourage residents to be independent and healthy? How does the community engage with the residence?
Asking these questions will help you decide which model of care better fit your preferences and needs.
Moving into a professional care environment shouldn’t come as a surprise on anyone. Making a change in living arrangements is a major decision, especially when it concerns aged care. Some of these living options can be expensive due to facilities being purpose built for hospitality, concierge, wellness and care services within the community.
Hence, you need to be financially prepared and involve your aged loved one in making these decisions. The more time everyone has to discuss what is important to your loved one − who may have to change where they live − and get used to the idea, the easier it will be to research and select your options.
First Published: Smart Investor, January 2018
Written By: Aged Care Group