Choosing the right care home can feel like a very overwhelming task. How do I know we’ll get the best care possible? Will I feel supported? What is the food like? Will there be the right kind of activities? Do people in care homes make friends? Will it be safe?
All of these questions and more may be running through your head so let’s have a closer look at how you can be sure you chose the right care home. Read on for our care home Q&A.
What should someone look out for when choosing a care home for their family member/friend/loved one?
There are a few important things to look for when visiting a home. One thing would be cleanliness of the house – does it look and smell clean? Also keep an eye out for activities happening within the home – are the residents engaged in activities? Is there an activities coordinator? Perhaps ask a member of staff to have a look at a weekly schedule of activities if you can’t see one on a notice board.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions – talk to staff who work there and if it’s appropriate, have a chat to someone who lives in the home or a visitor or someone who already lives there.
Finally, go with your gut. Do you get a good feeling about the home? Do you like the atmosphere? Some homes are very beautiful and stately, others homely and cozy – both types can provide excellent care so don’t be put off by the outward appearance
*It’s really important that whoever is going to be living in the home has a good feeling about all of the above.*
What are some important questions to ask a care home manager?
Asking questions is key! You can find out lots of information by talking to the manager of the home. Here are some questions you might wish to ask, and remember “nothing about me, without me.” Whoever is going to be living in the home should be part of the conversation!
Where can people find reliable information about the care homes they are considering?
You can look on the Care Quality Commission website to check the quality of care in any care home in England. Here is a link to the website: www.cqc.org.uk/care-services/find-care-home. Some care homes may also have Google reviews, plus you can look on websites for testimonials (although of course they won’t be impartial!)
How do I know my family member/friend/loved one is going to get the care they need? How do I know they are going to get the food they like and do the activities they like to do?
Talking to the manager of the home should help answer many of these questions. Make sure you go prepared with a list of things you’d like to ask and any concerns you might have when you visit the home, and you can always phone later if anything else springs to mind.
Every resident in the home will have a care plan which should detail likes, dislikes, work history, hobbies, important people, and any other information that will mean their care is tailored to them. Care plans should be accessible by all care staff so that they have good knowledge of the people they are helping to care for.
What should I do if my family member/friend/loved one say they are unhappy after they have moved into the care home?
Moving to a care home is an enormous transition and there will be a settling in period that might be tricky for everyone but in most cases, people do settle in well.
Leaving a home and a more independent life can feel like a loss and this can be something that takes a little while to get used to for everyone.
Alzheimer Society UK has some good resources that might be useful. Here’s a link to blog which talks about care homes and emotions: www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/help-dementia-care/care-homes-dealing-emotions. Age UK also has a good article on how to make the transition a little easier: www.ageuk.org.uk/northern-ireland/information-advice/care/care-homes/moving-into-a-care-home/.
We also wrote a blog a little while back that may be useful. You can read it by clicking here.
We hope this blog is useful to anyone looking at care homes, and if you have any more questions, please feel free to contact us for a chat.