The Importance of Making the Right Choice
Selecting a care home isn't just about finding a place to live, it's about choosing a home that offers comfort, happiness, the appropriate level of care, and a selection of activities that may be of interest too. Understanding your specific needs and preferences is the cornerstone of making an informed decision.
Pre-Visit Checklist: Steps to Take Before Your Tour
Before you even consider visiting potential care homes, there are several crucial preparatory steps to undertake:
- Evaluate Care Requirements: Ascertain the level of care currently needed or that may be required in the future. This could range from basic assistance with daily activities to specialised medical care.
- Check Availability: Investigate whether the home has any rooms available. If they are fully booked, find out how long you might have to wait on their waiting list.
- Initial Research: Take a look at the home's promotional materials - websites and social media platforms are often the best places to find the most relevant and up-to-date information. Making a preliminary call to speak directly with the manager or care team can be reassuring and really helpful, it's also possible to email if that is easier and time allows.
- Review inspection reports: It can be useful to take a look at the Care Quality Commission (CQC) website. This will provide their assessment of the home's quality of care.
In-Person Visit: Questions to Guide Your Tour
When you visit a care home, you'll likely have numerous questions, write down any specific ones you have before your visit to prompt you.
Here are some categories to guide your inquiry:
- First Impressions: What is your initial reaction upon entering? Does the atmosphere feel welcoming and clean?
- Ease of Access: Assess the layout of the home. Is it easy to navigate, especially if mobility is a concern?
- Staff Interaction: How are the staff interacting with residents and each other? Are they attentive, respectful, and skilled?
- Specific Care Needs: Discuss any particular care requirements with a member of the care team. Ask how the home would accommodate these needs.
- Daily Living: Enquire about the quality and type of meals available, particularly if there are any specific dietary requirements, as well as the range of social activities and amenities available.
- Visitor Policies: Understand and check the rules regarding visitors. Are there specific visiting hours? Can guests stay overnight? How easy, in terms of location, is it for family to make visits?
- Contractual Obligations and Costs: Take time to look over the contract and clarify anything that you are not clear about, including fee structures, any legalities for those with power of attorney, if applicable, and what it includes.
- Feedback and Complaints: Ask how the home handles feedback and complaints. Is there a formal procedure in place?
Conclusion: Take your time to make an informed decision.
Selecting the ideal care home is a really important decision that is often made at an emotional time for families and should be made with the utmost care and consideration. If time allows, research and visit a couple of ideal options. The most important criteria is to find a home that not only meets any medical and daily living needs but also feels like a true, comfortable home.