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Care Homes - What to look for

(14 Posts)
RuckAndRoll Fri 09-Nov-12 19:24:03

We've found out today that my Grandad needs to go into a care home as the carers feel that he can't be managed at home any more. He's been taken into hospital until it can be sorted.

DM is driving over tomorrow to take my Gran to look at homes over the next few days. Is there anything specific she needs to look at / ask?

We're totally new to this and have no idea what we're looking for, apart from the basic can they cope with his needs and can my Gran get there to visit. Any help very gratefully received smile

Ponyofdoom Sat 10-Nov-12 00:42:19

Some care homes specialise eg my Gran went into a dementia one as not all homes will have dementia patients. The manager of the one she went into made lots of notes about her likes and dislikes especially food which I felt was a good sign also they got me to make a memory box for her. Also ask the local carers/agencies/anyone you can think of, I picked up some tips on places to choose/avoid that way. Make sure its near enough to visit and go with a gut feeling when visiting. It is hard though to be sure of the decision.

ClareMarriott Sat 10-Nov-12 09:32:40

All I would say is to make sure that your grandmother is happy with the arrangements for her husband, I think all to often we try and make things easier for ourselves and forget about what the person actually wants/needs

RuckAndRoll Sat 10-Nov-12 11:48:26

Thanks. Unfortunately my gran, who's 91, is totally surprised by all of this and can't understand why he can't stay at home so won't be happy with anything. The rest of the family, including grandad, have been expecting it.

We are reeling a bit as it all happened very suddenly and when they took him to hospital they didn't tell either of them he wasn't going home again. It's going to be a hard few days I think. He needs purely physical care, no signs of dementia, just strokes that have him wheelchair bound.

parno Wed 14-Nov-12 21:42:54

We have just been through this mumwith my dad. Are you looking for residential or nursing case. Check the cqc website. If you message me I will send you list of questions I grilled care managers with. Age uk also have a check list of things to look for and questions to ask. I have a healthcare background which made the questioning easier. Get in touch.

wonkylegs Wed 14-Nov-12 21:52:23

The firm i worked for designed care homes for over 20 yrs. A year after they are built we have to go back and sign them off so i've visited a fair few of them up and down the country as well as visiting them for all my grandparents when they were alive. I have always found that homes that were good were very much down to the individual manager and how good they were rather than who owned them and that within a chain/provider there could be quite a lot of variation.
Sometimes it can be good to go for a slightly larger home than can accommodate a mixture of care requirements to avoid a distressing move if their requirements change later.
My gran had a series of strokes over a period of time the last of which triggered a type of dementia (it was very distressing to have to move her at this point)
Is your gran wishing to or may need to join him at some point if so can they accommodate double rooms or adjoining rooms (very few can).

LowLevelWhinging Wed 14-Nov-12 21:54:58

I have been in care homes in a professional capacity and I would look for the level of effort with regards to how personal the staff are able and willing to make their care of your grandad.

So how does he like to spend his time now? Will he be able to do those thing? Will staff facillitate him spending time with his wife, either at the care home or at your gran's?
Does he like to be with others, or spend time alone? Is everyone just left in a room together or is there an effort to get out to visit places, pubs, garden centres or whatever.

Does everyone have to watch the same TV programme?
Can he choose his own meals? Is there outside space?

Also, you can quickly get a feel for how the staff relate with residents, are they warm or dismissive? Do they want to help or are they patronising?

Do they have arrangements with visiting barbers, chiropodists, opticians?

The most expensive care homes do not necessarily provide the best care.

It can be a very upsetting time, so I hope you and your family can find a place you can feel happy about OP.

RuckAndRoll Thu 15-Nov-12 08:52:02

Just come back to this, thank you everyone thanks

It looks like he's border line needing nursing care so the place my Gran had her heart set on won't take him so they don't have to move him a few months down the line. The nursing care also means he's stuck with only one home in their town that can provide that, and it's SCSWIS report is less than complementary.

He broke my heart the other day when he said marriage is for life, and just when we really need each other, they're splitting us up. Unfortunately the home with nursing care won't take my Gran as well.

We can't fault the individuals, but the system is doing nothing to help a vulnerable person who needs help.

MrsjREwing Thu 15-Nov-12 09:00:44

What reason have you been given by the carers that they can't meet your GF's needs?

I was speaking to my Mum in her late sixties yesterday who has worked for the last 25 years un care homes as a deputy. She said again, I will never go into a carehome ever.

If I were you I would look for alternative carers to help your GM as she sounds railroaded too.

RuckAndRoll Thu 15-Nov-12 10:23:13

He can't be managed at home anymore as his legs have gone to the extent they will need a hoist to move him from bed to his wheelchair etc and they live in a tiny one bedroom flat with no enough space around the bed to get a hoist in. Also do to his medical needs he needs a 24 hr carer on call really and again, tiny one bedroom flat so it's not possible.

Does anyone know anything about the SCSWIS reports? I've compared a few different places, but not sure how much to believe of them.

bigbluebus Thu 15-Nov-12 12:59:13

I'm not familiar with the reports you mention as I assume you're in Scotland. We are CQC here. All I will say, is I wouldn't read too much into the reports (unless it is a bad report). But remember that the inspector will only have made a short visit on a given day - and may have hit lucky! We have been checking up on certain places as we are looking for a respite provider for our DD who has just turned 18 and is severely disabled. Some of the places we looked at ticked all the boxes on the CQC report, but were far from adequate to meet DDs needs. Likewise, we checked up on a couple of local hospitals which have all boxes ticked on CQC, but have ongoing cases of patients dying of neglect!!
So you need to visit the homes - maybe more than once and at different times of day, get a feel for what goes on there, talk to the carers if possible (not just the manager). Others have given good suggestions for questions to ask. How will your Grandads normal routine fit in with their routine - eg will he be put to bed/ got up when he wants to be, or will it be done to fit in with shift changeovers or drug rounds. Can he still persue any activities that he currently enjoys and most importantly, how often can your Gran visit.

It is a minefield - I wish you luck.

sannaville Thu 15-Nov-12 20:55:05

Def take notice of the reports if they mention bad things. I worked in a home that had good report but was a really terrible place sad so if they report something bad then its got to be glaringly bad I think. Lots of places have double beds for hubby and wife together can u look at anymore a bit further away perhaps? Be nice to keep them together

HavingALittleFaithBaby Fri 16-Nov-12 17:23:56

I would think seriously about going somewhere that has a dual registration as in residential and nursing so that if he does need to move to nursing its less upheaval.
When you're looking round, don't ring and book an appointment, just turn up! If they are any cop, they will take it in their stride. They might ask you to wait while they free someone to show you round but if they ask you to come back for an appointment, alarm bells should be ringing!
Think about: what are the rooms like? What are their bathroom facilities like? How do the residents look? Are they clean and presentable? Covered in food? How does it smell? does it smell of pee?! what activities do they have on?
My Grandma is in a home when friends/family can have their meal with the residents for a small fee which is really nice. When we first visited, the staff said Help yourselves to a Cuppa - there's a kitchenette off the living room - and she said This is her home now, we want you to feel at home here too. smile

RuckAndRoll Sat 17-Nov-12 14:47:34

Thanks for all the advice everyone.

Having Unfortunately they live in a fairly small town and there aren't any with dual registration.
bigblue correct, we're in Scotland.

Things have slowed down a bit as the hospital isn't showing any signs of wanting to discharge him anywhere just yet.
DM was telling me one she went to was brand new redeveloped, beautiful building, immaculate, yet soul-less. Another she went to was a bit mis-matched, pictures not straight on the wall, older furniture, but felt like someones home and had real warmth and character so fingers crossed that second one will take him once they know his medical history.

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