You cannot make someone move into a care home or nursing home, it must be their decision. The only exception to this is if they do not have the mental capacity to make their own decisions. If you are in this position, please seek advice. If your elderly relative is of sound mind, but you feel they would be better in a care home than at home, maybe they are becoming forgetful, or finding it hard to carry out basic everyday tasks, then you need to have an open and honest discussion with them.
Having An Open Conversation with Your Loved One
This will be a difficult conversation, but it is necessary. Choose the best location and time of day for your loved one, when you feel they will be the most receptive. Consider taking another relative or friend with you, but don’t bring too many people, or else it will feel like you are ganging up on your elderly loved one. Emphasis the positives of moving into residential care, rather than what they will leave behind. Don’t expect the first conversation to resolve everything, you may need to have a series of discussions while they come to terms with the idea of moving into residential care.
Involving the Individual In the Decision-Making Process
The more empowered your elderly relative or loved one feels in the decision, the better the outcome will be. Don’t stipulate which care home they should move into. You wouldn’t tell your elderly parent which house they should buy. Let them be part of the decision-making process, obviously, you can make suggestions, perhaps you want them to move closer to you so that you can pop in and see them more often.
Assessing Care Needs
Once you start thinking about the best care home for your elderly loved one, you will need to consider the type of care that will be required. If your elderly loved one needs round-the-clock care, then you may need to look at nursing homes. If your relative just needs some support with daily living, then a residential home will be perfect. Some care homes offer specialist dementia care services, which can be ideal for those living with dementia.
Researching Care Homes
Do your research. Once you have worked out the type of care home that you need, you can start to see what is available in your chosen area. The best way to see what they have to offer is to go for a visit. This will give you the chance to see how the staff are, whether are they interacting with the residents, and whether they seem interested in your elderly loved one. You can also see what the residents are doing in the care home. Are they all just sitting around the television, or are they enjoying scheduled activities or daily living? Some residents miss having their own house to maintain, and enjoy helping out with simple household tasks. Ask to see the menu and the activity schedule. Consider what your elderly loved one enjoys doing, do they like board games, gardening, or reading peacefully? Try and pick a care home that seems like it will suit them.
Choosing the Right Care Home
It can seem daunting planning to move a much-loved relative or family friend into a care home, so take your time to choose the right residential care home for them. Having to move care homes can be stressful and difficult, and can sometimes be avoided by spending time over the initial decision. You will get a feel for the care home when you look around, and often our instinct about what will suit our elderly loved one is very accurate.
It is no secret that care is expensive, and moving someone into a care home will mean some complicated conversations about money. The Local Authority will fund care for an elderly person who does not have sufficient funds to do so. If a person owns a property that they live in by themselves, this may need to be sold to pay for their care. If they live in this property with relative, then you cannot be forced to sell the property to pay for care home fees. The home manager at your chosen care home will be able to advise you on whether you will qualify for Local Authority funding, or you may be able to find the information online.
Legal and Administrative Steps
All family members must understand the legal and financial implications of moving a relative into a care home. When you move into a care home, you will sign a legal contract for that care home. This means that the care home must provide the correct care to your loved one and that you must pay any fees due. The contract should be clear and easy to understand, always ask for clarification if you are unsure of the points in your contract.
Preparing for the Transition into the Care Home
Transitions can be difficult, many people find change challenging, especially those suffering from dementia, and the elderly can get very attached to the familiar. They may have lived in their house, or town for decades, that is a big change. Many care homes are excellent at helping with the transition. Many care homes will offer the chance for the new resident to come for day visits or even short stays. The more familiar the care home seems on moving day, the easier the transition into the care home will be.
Moving home at any age is notoriously stressful. Moving an elderly relative into a care home is going to be stressful. If possible, try to arrange the times so that the elderly person is at their best. Don’t just take them over to the home after you have finished work for the day. Hopefully, you will have spent time with them, helping them to decide what to take with them to their new home. Whether this is some prized photos or a special piece of furniture, make sure they know what they are bringing. Once you have got them settled in their room, it is often best to leave whilst they are involved in an activity. It can be an upsetting time and can evoke different emotions, such as loss or guilt. Our experienced care team will be more than happy to speak to you on the phone that evening so that you can check on your loved one. Be kind to yourself, this is an incredibly hard time for you and your family, so make sure you look after yourself after you have dropped off your loved one.
Settling Into Your New Care Home
It does always take time to settle into a new environment, and this can be compounded by memory issues, such as dementia, in the elderly. Our knowledgeable elderly care team, have plenty of experience in helping people to settle into their new care home. We will always encourage new residents to join in with our activities, as this is a good way to meet new people and feel more at home. Regular meals in our communal dining rooms also help people to feel that they are part of our community. We will always give support and comfort during this difficult time, as we do every day, and help new residents settle into their new routines and new home.
Ensuring Quality Care
All care homes in the UK are strictly regulated and monitored in accordance with the governing bodies of each country. Here at St Philips Care, we have our own internal auditing system, to ensure that the care services that we give to residents in our care homes is always of premium quality. We invest in our care home staff, ensuring that they are continually training and developing their skills, and knowledge. At the heart of our care, is our dedication to providing first-class care to all the residents in our care homes and nursing homes.
Choose the Best Care Home with St Philips Care
Here at St Philips Care, we know how difficult it can be when you feel that your elderly relative has reached the point of needing to move into a care home. We know how many careful conversations you will have had to reach this point. We are here for you. We will always advise and support prospective residents and their families to make sure that you are choosing the very best care home for your loved one. Whether you need nursing care, or residential care, or aren’t sure, we can help. From advice on dealing with the Local Authority to our assessment of your relative, we will be with you every step of the way, to ease the stresses of this difficult time.