Going into a care home or choosing one for a family member can be a stressful experience. However, they could be the best places to live for the elderly. There are various factors to consider, including the location and the possible restrictions on your current lifestyle. To make the correct choice, consider the following tips.
What are the different types of Care Homes?
People who require support in their daily routine may need to move into a care home. The place can provide much-needed assistance in their daily living requirements such as:
- Going to the toilet
- Taking medication
- Washing clothes
A typical care home can also offer residents various social activities and outings.
Moreover, some homes cater exclusively to the elderly while others look after people who have particular needs:
- Residential homes – The personal needs and dependency of the residents are low or moderate. However, they need assistance with daily chores, such as doing laundry or preparing meals.
- Nursing homes – Residents receive assistance and personal care from qualified or registered nurses.
- Care homes with dementia care – The aim here is to keep dementia sufferers safe, secure, and comfortable.
- Dual-registered homes – Here, residents can receive both personal care and nursing care; for instance, they may initially require personal care but will later need nursing care as well.
Do you need to stay in a care home?
Even if you have settled in, you still have the option of moving out and looking for other accommodation suited to your own needs and requirements. You could also consider alternatives, such as adapting your private home to make your life easier.
What should you look for in a care home?
It’s easier to treat a medical condition than taking care of a person’s emotional needs. Think about what you want and need from the home. Start making a checklist before you visit:
- Ensure that the home can provide the level of care you currently need and may require in the future.
- Can the home accept new residents or is there a waiting list?
- Visit the home’s website and read their brochure. Call or send an email before visiting.
You should also check all the relevant details during your visit, including the following:
1. What are your first impressions?
Even before you inspect the rooms, you can tell if the home is well-maintained. An accessible garden or courtyard can be a good sign. If possible, choose a home with a pleasant view. Make sure the rooms are clean, comfortable, and well-decorated.
2. Is it accessible?
The home should allow your friends and families to visit. If you use a wheelchair, make sure that there is easy access both inside and out. Other factors worth considering are the availability of nearby shops and parks, and ample parking spaces.
3. What are the staff like?
The person with the primary responsibility for the daily operations of the home is the manager. According to this Nurses.co.uk article, they are also responsible and accountable for ensuring the home’s smooth operation. Talk to the manager and relay your questions and concerns, such as :
- Are the staff welcoming and interested in the residents’ lives?
- What is the ratio of staff to residents and is it sufficient at all times?
- Can residents choose either a male or a female carer?
- Are the staff qualified and well-trained for their duties?
4. Can the home meet your daily needs?
Before moving in, the home will often conduct an assessment of your situation. They may name a staff member primarily responsible for your care. With regard to toilets and bathrooms, ensure that they are accessible and suitable for your needs. If necessary, ask if there is someone who can assist you in the bathroom? Also, if you feel ill, how will the home inform your relatives and friends? Most importantly, ask the home’s manager about the policy on end-of-life care.
5. What about the food?
Of course, food is essential. For example, did you know that breakfast is often served between 6 am to 8 am? Make sure to ask about:
- Food selection and how often the menu is changed
- Whether the residents eat together or whether they have food in their room
- Snacks and their availability
- Food preparation and will it satisfy all your dietary requirements
- Making your own food/drink or storing it in your room
6. What will your social life be like?
Social activities are essential since they keep you active, healthy, and happy. Make sure the home has in-house activities or:
- Lounges or particular areas where residents can meet and socialize
- A favorable policy which allows residents to keep pets
- Places where you can watch television, listen to the radio, read books or newspapers, and access phones and the internet
- Social activities, such as group exercises, singing or music, and outings to various places of interest
7. Can you receive visitors?
You also need to ensure that visitors can come and see you. In addition, ask the manager if people can stay overnight and whether children are allowed.
8. What about the contract and fees?
Does the Home guarantee confidentiality and privacy under the GDPR rule? Make sure that they do before signing any contract. make sure you obtain a copy of the terms and conditions. You can also ask whether they allow trial periods where you will be free to move out if you are not completely satisfied. It also pays to find out about their notice conditions for terminating the contract. Furthermore, you may want to know whether their insurance covers personal items, such as jewelry.
With regard to fees, how do they calculate and charge them? Are you required to pay in advance or perhaps a deposit? In certain cases, the basic fees may not cover some of the services you require so make sure you ask! Also, in case of death, are the fees still payable?
9. Is there a way to relay my feedback or complaints?
Ask the home if there is a complaints procedure and how they deal with serious incidents and safety concerns.
To find a care home that meets your requirements, you must take the time and effort to do some research. Conduct an initial check so you can decide whether the facility is worth visiting. In fact, some homes invite interested residents to spend at least a day with them. During that trial period, you will be able to gauge whether it will be a suitable place for you.