6 Simple Steps to Finding a Great Care Home

There comes a time in every parent-child relationship when the burden of care shifts from one to the other – and then that burden can become too much for the adult child to manage alone. This is when the first mention of moving into a home can be mentioned, and this can be distressing to an elder person who has perhaps been planning on staying in their own home until the end. Instead, have the discussion when it is still a long way off, to allow both of you the time and distance to get used to the idea. When you do begin to look for a suitable place, here are six simple steps that will help you find a great care home.

elderly lady in care home

More Than One Visit
Don't just visit a place once. Instead, call around a few times to see what the mood and ambiance is like at different times of day. There are some places that make an effort to seem welcoming and warm only when outsiders will be there to see it: these places should be avoided! Fortunately, most care homes are designed for comfort and dignity and staffed with people who want the best for your loved one too. Calling in two or three times, at different times of the day and week, will give you a good idea about the energy levels, available activities and the state of the other residents, so you come away with a good idea about whether your loved one will fit in or not.

Find One Close to You
Quite apart from regular visits, you do not want to be driving miles and miles in the event of an emergency. Choosing a good care home in your vicinity is actually easier as you will not have to travel very far when you pop in to see how they do things and introduce your older relatives to the staff prior to making the decision. Find out a bit more about how to find care homes in North Devon here.

Ask Around
Once you have settled on a short list of care homes, ask around about them. People who have had a great experience will be happy to help you out, and those with not-so-good details to reveal will nearly always share the problems they faced.

Get Costs Sorted
Work out the costs carefully, and do bear in mind that your expenses can go up, or your income down if you are planning on helping to pay for your mum or dad's care. If there is a property involved, work out whether it is better to sell now and invest the funds in a trust to pay for the care home, or keep the house and rent it out to pay the fees. Whichever way you decide to go, make sure that your budget is comprehensive and detailed.

Know the Difference
In the UK, there is a difference between a nursing home and a residential home. With the first, your loved one will almost certainly have an illness that requires full-time care. These can include Alzheimer's and other dementia ailments, some cancers, and severe mobility issues that, for example, prevent your relative from getting around without aid. Residential care homes have fewer staff members and often no nurses, as they are for those still in possession of their faculties and are able to dress and wash themselves as well as getting to the dining room and back unaided. Care homes do understand that your relative may well decline from one category to the other, but in general, they are quite strict about your relative being admitted to the correct designation of care in the beginning.

Does Your Relative Love It?
Finally, but very importantly, make sure your relative is happy and optimistic about going into your chosen care home. If they are positive about the change, this can help them to settle in and make friends, whereas if their mood is low and they feel resentful about the change, then this can affect their ability to settle in well. Hopefully, by including them in the choosing process, bringing them to the home a few times before the move and encouraging them to feel as though they have some control over their future, they will be happy about the move and look forward to enjoying many years being looked after while surrounded by like-minded and friendly souls.

*Collaborative post