Choosing a Care Home

If you’re finding it more difficult to manage at home, you might be wondering if it’s time to move. You might be thinking about moving into a care home, or perhaps you have a relative or loved one who might need to move into a care home soon or in the future. Thinking about the move can feel overwhelming. Not knowing where to start or who to contact can put you off all together, so we hope these tips will help point you in the right direction.

Thinking about the move

There are lots of reasons you might be thinking about moving into a care home. Perhaps you’re less able cook or look after yourself like you used to. Maybe you’re worried about being alone at night, or having a fall, or maybe you’re starting to feel lonely. Moving into a care home can give you a renewed purpose in life and could even offer you a chance to meet new people and start new friendships. A care home has trained staff on hand, and possibly specialist equipment that can’t be installed in your home, so many of the difficulties and risks you might face at home are removed. It’s normal to feel reluctant about moving into a care home. You may be worried you’ll lose your independence, or won’t see friends and family as much as you do now. You might also be worried about how you’ll pay for it.

It’s perfectly normal to have conflicting feelings. After reading these tips, visiting some care homes, and talking to your loved ones, you might feel better about making the decision that’s right for you.

Different types of care homes

 It’s good to know what’s out there and the different options you might want to think about.

There are four main types of care home, each catering for different needs:

  • Care homes with staff who help with personal care, things such as washing, dressing, taking medication and going to the toilet. They may also organise social opportunities such as day trips, shorter outings and in-house activities.
  • Care homes with nursing, also called nursing homes, offer personal care as well as 24-hour assistance from qualified nurses.
  • Care homes with dementia care are designed specifically to make people with dementia feel comfortable and safe. They often have a qualified nurse with dementia training.
  • Dual-registered care homes accept residents who need both personal care and nursing care. This means that if someone moves in only requiring help with personal care but their needs increase, they won’t have to move to a different home. Changing rooms tends to be much less disruptive than changing home. Care homes can be owned and run by private companies, voluntary or charitable organisations or councils
Assessing your needs

If you’re thinking you might need to move into a care home, you should firstly contact your local council’s social services department and ask for a free care needs assessment.

For more information and advice Age UK have a very comprehensive fact sheet on finding, choosing and paying for a care home which can be accessed by clicking on www.ageuk.org.uk/care or by phoning their advice line on 0800 678 1602 for support and specialist advice. Lines are open 8am – 7pm, 365 days a year.