Moving into a care home

Thinking about moving into permanent care but not sure what to look for, what or who to ask? It’s worth starting with what is important to you and may help to consider these key points.

The building

  • Location – do you want to be closer to family, friends. How easy is it for a spouse/partner or other loved ones to visit?
  • Size – Would you be more comfortable in a larger bedded property or smaller home with fewer people
  • Local facilities – Do you want a paper delivered daily or need access to a bus, is there a resident hairdresser, chiropodist?
  • Access – Can you or your visitors, pets move around easily? Lifts, stairs, wheel chair access. Public transport routes close by? Do you want Wi-Fi or a telephone in your room, can you get a signal on the mobile?
  • Visitors – Are there any restrictions, can they stay over, and is there a visiting time, can children visit and/or stay?
  • Grounds – Are they accessible, do you need your own space, is there somewhere to sit outside, does the home grow their own veg for the menu, can you help tend a garden or have a patio area?
  • Security – are the grounds secure, what are the safeguards for you personally and for your possessions
  • First impressions

  • Does it feel clean, smell fresh?
  • Are the rooms light and airy? Are there en-suite facilities if you want them?
  • Is there enough space? Do you have private outdoor space?
  • Can you have your own things in your room?
  • Do the other residents seem happy, are they busy and motivated, are there any activities going on- is that what you want?
  • Is there somewhere quiet to go for reading, prayer if you need that?
  • Are the staff welcoming and friendly, are they interacting with the residents and seem interested?

Meeting your needs

The home should assess your care needs to make sure that they can meet them before agreeing to a move but you may want to check;

  • What happens if my needs change in the future?
  • How many members of staff per resident? How does this ratio change from day to Night time?
  • Is there a manager or nurse on site, can you have your own GP?
  • Do the staff change frequently, how are they trained?
  • What specialist equipment is available should you need it?
  • What % of the staff are agency workers, speak your language?
  • How will specific needs be met; religious/cultural beliefs, pets, pub!?
  • How many members of staff per resident? How does this ratio change from day to Night time?
  • Is there a manager or nurse on site, can you have your own GP?
  • Do the staff change frequently, how are they trained?
  • What specialist equipment is available should you need it?
  • What % of the staff are agency workers, speak your language?
  • How will specific needs be met; religious/cultural beliefs, pets, pub!?
  • What’s the menu like? Can your guests use the facilities? Do you have special dietary
  • requirements? Can you have a fridge or tea making facilities in your room?

Everyone has a right to choose where they live but don’t forget to ask yourself “Can I afford this?” Your preference may come at a price and once you have found the right place it will become your home, the need for a move in the future can be devastating for everyone if you cannot afford to live there forever.

Paying for the care

  • Will I be funding this care?
  • Should I contact the Local Authority for a care needs assessment, to find out what type of care is the most appropriate for my needs?
  • Do I need someone to represent me legally? An Enduring or Lasting Power of Attorney, Court of Protection Deputy
  • You may want to consider financial advice?
  • Consider legal advice to make others aware of your wishes and assets
  • Would you be eligible for NHS funding?
  • Will Funded Nursing Care Payment apply? How would a registered nursing home invoice this payment?
  • Check benefit entitlement as your circumstances are changing

Contracts

  • Is there a trial period?
  • Can you see a copy of the contract; does it include everything you need or will there be extra charges for things like transport, hair, nail care, outings.
  • What are the contractual fees during hospital stay or periods following death or a move?
  • Top ups – if your funds reduce will the home accept your personal budget from the Local
  • Authority without the need for a top and put that in writing?
  • What happens if my money runs out or the needs change?

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