Choosing the right care home is vital for long-term well-being, but as with everything, you need to get the foundations in place before focusing on the details. So what should you be looking for at the very start?
"There are four crucial factors you must first consider when looking for the right care home. They are really obvious when you look back, but at the time they elude many of us."
It is vital that the location of the care home is near to the person or people most likely to visit. It doesn't matter that Mum has always lived in Kent (unless she has a strong support network who will continue to visit). If you're her daughter, you'll both want to see each other frequently, but if you live in Birmingham, you should look for a home near to you. Aside from wanting to see Mum frequently, you will want to satisfy yourself that she is getting the care she needs and all-round value for the price she is paying.
When you are looking for a care home, make sure you understand whether you are looking for a residential home, nursing home or a dual registered home that covers both. These homes may also support dementia, but make sure you discuss with the home what level of dementia your mum has. It's important that the care home can meet her needs, but equally that the level of dementia in the home isn't above what might be her 'mild forgetfulness'.
Make sure you understand how much you can afford - today and in the future. Many care homes will ask for proof of funds for two or even three years. If you think Mum may run out of money, talk to the care home and explain that you will need to revert to Local Authority funded care, unless you are personally prepared to top up the fees. To speak to an independent care fees advisor for details, call 0800 055 6225
Wherever possible, research your care options before you need them. Bear in mind that care homes won't hold a room for you unless you pay for it. So, make sure you have chosen two or more homes that you like as at least one of them should have availability when you need it. Alternatively put your name down on the waiting list if you are able to wait for a room in your preferred home.
"Only 6% of families move a relative once they are living in a care home, regardless of whether it's actually the best place for them. This is because they are worried that further upheaval will have a damaging effect on their loved one. In reality, living in the wrong environment could be much worse for them."
If you need more advice on how to find care, call the Chosen with Care team on 01892 300 530