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Nursing homes - Carers UK Forum

Nursing homes

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
I know he is not ready for one just yet, but have been advised to start looking around...

what is the best way to approach this?

So far I am getting answers like

'We do nursing but not dementia'

'We do dementia but not nursing.'

how do I know what I am looking for when I have never had to do this before??

How do we judge if they are any good ? and do I have any choices anyway, as we have no money to pay for one, and will be relying on social payments if that is what you call them....

I think this must be another minefield.........
Start by going to either the Care Quality Commisson website, or your local authority website, and find out what homes are nearest.
I would strongly recommend you find a home which covers EMI - "Elderly Mentally Infirm" and Nursing, as well as care. Then hopefully your husband will never ever have to move homes again. Homes caring for more than one category usually have separate wings, or floors, for each category.
The CQC website will give you an indication of the quality of care, but please don't think that when they class somewhere as good, that means it's definitely good. It just means on the day of inspection that was what they found. A "bad" rating will mean that CQC are paying particular attention to that home, so in fact an old "bad" review might be followed by a "very good" review as all the problems have been sorted.
Good homes always have waiting lists.
Make a list of the 3 or 4 homes nearest where you live. Make arrangements to visit, and be shown round. Very quickly you will find that first impressions count. Top priority is the attitude of the staff, do they smile, are they friendly, kind to the residents?
The LA may tell you they will pay up to £X, but that is not true. They MUST set their rate at a level which will buy local beds with actual vacancies.
The Human Rights Act also applies, the home should be as near as possible to you, "the right to a normal family life". If you can't get there easily, it's no good.
Visit possible places and get an idea of how the. Present residents are treated and. Entertained and what the bedrooms are like.

Have a look on the Internet for. Some in your geographical area.

Ask to see their prospectus and inspection reports
I think this is a sensible step to take.

in terms of 'what choice' if the LA is funding, I would say the first step is to simply ask the homes outright as you ring round whether they take LA-funded residents, some do, some don't. My MIL's second home didn't, it was private only, but the current one does, though she is (for the moment!) still burning her way through the price she got for selling her flat.

I think you mentioned earlier that you were considering whether it would be better for him to move back towards the area of his family/children? If that is still under consideration, add the potential homes in that area as well.

Visiting the homes I would say is essential -you get a pretty good 'look and feel' just by walking around. remember, outer 'shabbiness' is not nearly as bad as 'poor staff attitude', and, also, sad though it is to say, as he worsens, his dementia will mean he takes very little notice of his physical surroundings. My MIL is in a perfectly nice room but she is oblivious to it- does not recognise her bric-a-brac and ornaments, or even the family photos. She just sits in her chair and sleeps....

It's the staff that really make or break a home - and meeting the care manager directly will give you a pretty good indication of whether they run a 'good ship' or not.

An entertainments programme is certainly good, but, again, as time passes, it will be of less and less relevance - my MIL really just stays in her room now, joins in with none of the activities. It comes to all of them alas. before that stage though, she joined in everything except the sing-alongs!! (she hates singing...)

Remmber that although you think it's a bit 'early' that good homes can have long waiting lists, so getting them into the queue before they really need it can be sensible.

Wishing you all the best at a difficult time. What are his family saying about his care for the future? Any feedback from them yet?
We must have visited thirty homes over many months in the Southport and Sefton area, extending into Everton and parts of Liverpool.

One auntie was adamant and determined not to go into one
I HAD to find one for mum, when going back to her own home was no longer possible. Always remember you know your mum better than anyone else.
My mum had OCD as far as cleanliness was concerned, so that was really important.
She also loved her garden, so I chose one with a gardening club, so she could chat to the other members, even if she couldn't actually garden any more, due to physical frailty. Sadly, although she liked the idea, she never actually attended the club!
Also think about what room is available, upstairs with a lift is fine for someone who can walk, ground floor easier if it's a wheelchair user. Does the room have a pleasant view, an ensuite toilet or bathroom?
Does the home smell nice, or smell unpleasant? Mum had lost her sense of smell, but I hadn't, so I wanted it to smell pleasant, not off putting.
Also look at suitable security arrangements. Expect an EMI home to have limited access, coded door locks, or similar - you should be given the code. This is to keep people safe, as many people tend to wander at times.
WOW!

I am so glad I asked! Thankyou - like everything to do with this situation, it is very complex and down to 'us' rather than Social Services.

I imagine my situation is worse because I have no transport to get to see him when that time comes - I do seriously need a word with his children too, especially his daughter who is the one keen to have him back where he comes from.

Many thanks to you all - I feel you are dear friends - where would I be without you? :unsure: :unsure: :unsure: :unsure: :unsure: :unsure: :unsure:
Some excellent advice given already. My sister and I are currently looking for a place for my Dad. Social Services advice was to not make appointments with the homes, just turn up so you get an uncensored view of what it is like. Which we did and it has helped us narrow down out choices.
In the words of that film from fifty years ago, Homes are like "the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"
My Mum chose a home near eldest sibling, some 200 miles from her flat and 190 miles from me. Other sibling is in France. So Big Bro and SIL do all the day today duty visits and finance etc, and I go about every 6-8 weeks for the 'fun' vists. We lunch, potter, shop, gossip, giggle and generally gave a nice time.
Downside It does take 2 hours to get there, 2 hours is her limit on attention span, then 2 hours home again = whole day or weekend

Ergo, I highly recommend distance care! :D
I do try not to be a 'helicopter', and think the situation works because she chose it, it wasnt imposed upon her.

Just another angle to throw in to the mix for you Mary

Kr
MrsA