Viewing Care Home - Questions to Ask?

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Just to point out that if you want to compare "live in" costs with residential care, then you also need to take account of property maintenance/insurance, council tax, utilities, food and general living expenses on top of the cost of the carer!
And feeding the carer as well as mum.
Thanks bowlingbun,

I have been pleasantly surprised how "cheap" care homes we have enquired about actually are when you take in everything you get. I know they sound expensive but when you think its 24 hour care, food, drinks,cooking, heating, lighting, hot water, water rates, TV licence, maintenance, household wear and tear, insurance, council tax, in some cases telephone, what you get for the money is not too bad in my opinion. Some also have trips out in their own minibuses at no extra cost and entertainment a couple times a week.
If your mum is bed bound, then she will need a nursing home, rather than a care home, and these are substantially more, as there has to be a qualified nurse on duty at all times, and more staff are needed to help their residents.
I would always recommend trying to find a home which offered care, nursing and EMI care (EMI=Elderly Mentally Infirm) then if someone's needs increase over time, then they will only get moved from one section to another of the home, rather than having to find somewhere completely new. So any move to a home is the very last move they will ever need to make.
My mum's nursing home told me that they could not administer drips, or manage out of control bleeding, but could cope with anything else. As mum declined, and was in constant pain, they were authorised to fit a morphine syringe driver, as used in the hospice.
Hope that helps.
Lesley Anne,

When my mum was being sent home from hospital, she went first with a couple of occupational theraprists to test the home to see if she was able to do things. It might be worth asking for this so that the physios can see for themselves how impractical it is. I found the hospital paid far more attention to the OT report than anything I said.

What a waste of time, energy and money all this is.
LesleyAnne wrote:
Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:17 am
Thanks bowlingbun,

I have been pleasantly surprised how "cheap" care homes we have enquired about actually are when you take in everything you get. I know they sound expensive but when you think its 24 hour care, food, drinks,cooking, heating, lighting, hot water, water rates, TV licence, maintenance, household wear and tear, insurance, council tax, in some cases telephone, what you get for the money is not too bad in my opinion. Some also have trips out in their own minibuses at no extra cost and entertainment a couple times a week.
Lesley - that's fine if they get all that but In My Mums case she didn't. Her care home promised outings and she has never been on one in the 8 months she was there. They promised they could sit in the gardens and she's sat out twice in all those months. She was promised a piece of fresh fruit every day to help with her medical condition and she was lucky if when got a banana a week and then she had to almost beg for it. She was promised daily activities which was very hit and miss. She was assured she could get up when she chose and she said 7-7.30 would be fine but often they got her up just after 6, rushed her through a wash and then she had to sit in her dressing gown until someone came back maybe a couple of hours later to help her dress. Her room was quite dark and got no sun so even in the hot weather she felt chilly but they said "we can't turn the heating on just for your mother." I asked whether she could be moved to a sunnier room but they said it would be too confusing for her which was an absolute lie, what they meant was they couldn't be bothered.

I'm sorry if this sounds depressing but many homes promise but fail to deliver. I do hope you find somewhere that's right for your Mum but DO keep an eye on what goes on.
bowlingbun wrote:
Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:36 pm
Has she had her NHS Continuing Healthcare Assessment? If this was granted (a postcode lottery to some extent) all care would be totally free, either in her own home, or in a nursing home. At least get a checklist done before making any decisions.
It's me again B B

Turning over the idea of Nursing Homes for the poor ould fella, and looking for simple answers for starters.
1) You mention post code lottery - I understand what this is, but is there a way of finding out which areas offer best services to non self funding people. We live in Devon, the poor ould fellas daughter wants him back in Leicestershire when the time comes - how can I discover which is going to be the best/easier option.

2) For someone with dementia and medical requirements, such as a stoma, and fairly frail health, am I looking for a nursing home? Do they cater for both conditions?

3) As I am alone in all this, is there likely to be any help from Social Services in finding a home, or as we are not able to self fund, does he have to go where they say, with no options?

thank you, as always,
Hello Mary,

regarding your first question - have a read of this thread

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/news-and ... tery-30844

Question 2 - yes, you should be looking for a Nursing Home rather than a Care Home, or one that offers both.
Question 3 - yes, there will be help in finding a home from Social Services, but be aware that SS will have limits in place as to what they will pay so the choice will be limited. Although if granted NHS Coninuing Healthcare it's the NHS that pick up the bill not Social Services.

I suggest that you contact the Carers UK Adviceline team as they are the experts on all matters related to caring and benefits.
Need expert advice? You can talk to the Carers UK Adviceline five days a week, no matter where you are in the UK or how complex your query is. We do benefits checks and advise on financial and practical matters related to caring.

Freephone: 0808 808 7777
email: advice@carersuk.org

Carers UK’s advice and information team based in London is undergoing staff changes. This means the Adviceline is closed on Thursdays and Fridays whilst we recruit and train new members of staff. We will be taking calls on Monday – Wednesday between 10am and 4pm. . You can email or write to the Adviceline and we will respond to your enquiries within five working days.

The Carers UK Adviceline also includes a listening service, there for you to talk through your caring situation with a trained volunteer who understands what you are going through. Available Mondays and Tuesdays, from 10am to 4pm.
If you can’t get through on the phones (lines are often oversubscribed) then send them an email, they’ll usually get back to you within 3-5 working days.
The helpline will give you the best possible advice, but in the meantime, as I understand it, there are two different questions to be answered.
Who will pay for his residential care?
As you've been in Devon for a couple of years? then Devon would be the authority who would fund his residential care.
Does he have to live in Devon?
No. It can be anywhere, but as Susie says, the council will have a limit as to what they will pay, BUT there have to be homes available at that rate. Don't be fobbed off by any mention of "top ups" by you or the family. if his daughter wants him near her, then ask her to do some research, it's really not practical for you to do this. Obviously you can look at the CQC website, but there's no substitute for looking.
It might help her to look at this forum herself? Make sure she chooses a home which will cover all eventualities, both regarding dementia and his stoma care. Although he might be entitled to NHS Continuing Healthcare, I wouldn't worry about that too much, it's really a big issue if someone is self funding. If the LA will be paying, let them decide if he might be eligible for CHC or not, you've got more than enough to deal with already.