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Choosing a care home. Tips / what do you wish you knew before hand?

(16 Posts)
Theas18 Tue 27-Jan-15 22:41:55

Well. What to say...... Will need I guess at some point to find a care home (prob dementia ) for dad as his respite pkace isn't indefinite.

I have no idea how you choose or what you need to be aware of? I guess some is like choosing a nursery - watch how they interact with the inmates / drop in at odd times etc maybe talk to relatives etc? But beyond that no idea. Will be self funding as has a house I suppose.

I guess you are supposed to think " what happens when the money runs out " but I have no idea about that and Cripes even thinking about this is hard, but I suppose we find the best for his needs and hope he doesn't out live the money - or if he does he's too far gone to care when moved to a state funded " workhouse" as he'd see it .....sad

hatgirl Tue 27-Jan-15 22:44:43

have you got any involvement with social services?

Redhead11 Tue 27-Jan-15 22:54:34

I was speaking to a nurse yesterday about this very thing, as we were visiting care homes today. If you walk in to a home and smell pee, then turn around and leave. That is an indicator of their care - or lack thereof. We also went by how it felt. If the person you are talking to at the home is not writing down details and asking questions or even - as in one case with us - not introducing themselves - it is not the right place. Instinct will guide you a good bit. Ask around for local recommendations. Good luck.

AWholeLottaNosy Tue 27-Jan-15 22:54:40

My dad went into a care home last year due to dementia. The Alzheimer's Soc had a list of homes. We visited quite a few and eventually chose one that was small as we felt the care would be better. I can't remember if it was Alzheimer's Soc or Age UK, but they had a list of questions to ask/ things to look out for. I think you need to go visit a few places, get a feel of them, are there any activities, is it clean, well organised, what's the food like? I went to one and there was an elderly lady wandering the corridors, lifting her skirt up and shouting abuse. Horrid. Another where people were wailing in their beds. Not nice.

We found a fantastic home run by the Salvation Army but they wouldn't accept my dad as his needs were too much for them ( they have to do an assessment before they accept someone to see if they can cope with them ), so be aware of that.

There are also assessments of the homes by the Quality Care Commision that you can find online.

HTH, it's a hard thing to do as you want to find the best place you can, I wish you well with it.

Needmoresleep Wed 28-Jan-15 08:56:09

Thea. Ask around. GPs often have lots of contact with residents of care homes as will people like chiropodists. Local vicar, etc. Care agency may supply staff.

Obviously NHS staff won't be too open but if say something like "what about this home" you might get "the most expensive home are not always the best". Or perhaps ask for suggestions of homes you might visit.

After my meltdown at Christmas I seem to have made progress by finding a local law firm who provide a lot of attorney services. Things like having someone take round pocket money to elderly ladies no longer able to use a cash point etc. The lovely legal executive who has to make decisions for those without family, confirmed care homes are a mixed bunch but says she has a couple she prefers.

AWholeLottaNosy Wed 28-Jan-15 12:20:03

Also do you have power of Attourney for your father? It's much easier to get it when he still has the mental facilities to consent. Otherwise you have to go to court and it's much more expensive.

ggirl Wed 28-Jan-15 12:27:13

staffing levels are important -make sure they don't work to the skeleton requirement of staffing levels
frequent changeover of staff not a good sign
activities designed for people with dementia
ask about what happens when your fathers care needs will increase , will the home be able to cope with bed bound patient

I'm a community nurse and go into a lot of care homes , some are lovely , in fact most are. There are one or two I definitely would not recommend.

Theas18 Wed 28-Jan-15 17:53:25

Awholelotta. Yup poa in place. Phew

YouveCatToBeKittenMe Wed 28-Jan-15 18:03:16

My dad was in a care home with Alzheimer's
We looked a lots and the one we chose was the most impressive, with fabulous amienities and all the things we thought dad would like.
However it was also the one that was featured on an undercover expose last year because of abuse sad
However he had already died by then, but I feel guilty in case he was ever a victim as he wouldn't have been able to tell me.
Don't necessarily go for the one that's looks the best, maybe try to speak to some other families as well as staff and go for the one you think will best fit your dad
It's so hard, I'm sorry you're going through this.

ggirl Wed 28-Jan-15 21:56:15

I think all care homes should have cctv

PingPongBat Thu 29-Jan-15 14:38:37

I've just come across this: Age UK checklist for choosing Care Homes. We're about to choose a nursing home for mum and I'm going to use the checklist and info here to try and make sure we make the right choice for her.

twentyten Fri 30-Jan-15 22:19:06

Visit unannounced. We were taken in by nice decor and missed that the staff were all busy talking to eachother not residents. Trust your instincts- good luck!

Moher Fri 30-Jan-15 22:32:35

Once you've chosen a care home and your dad has moved in, never take your eye off the ball. IME abuse and neglect can creep in when you've built a strong relationship with the home, and they know you trust them and aren't questioning everything like you might have done at the start. Bitter experience I'm afraid.

HayDayRookie Sat 31-Jan-15 00:25:24

ggirl I work in a care home and 100% agree that cctv id a good idea, it would improve the care in most homes

trader21c Sat 07-Feb-15 02:05:22

Choose a care home with good food - the meals are often the highlight of their day - in my dad's care home they really rate the food and look forward to it. I also agree with the CCTV. And keep an eye on things even in a good care home - the staff are often stretched. The more you visit the better! The wee indication when first looking round is a good one. The newest homes with the new decor aren't always the best. I'd also say look for a home where they encourage the residents who are able to walk and not just sit in chairs all day.

espastieji1984 Thu 12-May-16 05:33:52

As for tips, I believe that the best I can give you is to do your research well. There are many companies offering this service so be sure to contact just the best and reliable ones. Try to read the reviews about their care at home service too, to know if they really provide genuine and good service.

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