By Christina Neal
Choosing the right care home for a loved one can feel like a monumental task. There’s a lot to think about and consider. You want to be sure you’ve made the right choice so that your loved one can settle in as swiftly as possible and receive the appropriate care for them. Don’t leave it too late to find the right home for your loved one. When it first became apparent that my mum wouldn’t be safe at home for much longer, I had already done my research. I had a suitable home in mind, one that I’d already visited. I knew their fees and I felt fully prepared. And I’d viewed many other homes before that. So there was no need to panic. So it’s really important to do your research early on. Here’s some other top tips on finding the right care home for your loved one:
Seek financial advice
Contact your local authority (council) and ask for an assessment of the person’s care needs. They could be eligible for Attendance Allowance or NHS Continuing Care. Attendance Allowance is funded by the Department of Work & Pensions. Visit https://www.gov.uk/attendance-allowance
NHS Continuing Care is a package of care funded by the NHS if the person is assessed as having a primary health need. For information on NHS Continuing Care in England, visit http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/pages/nhs-continuing-care.aspx
Think about the care required
Make a list of all the tasks the person needs help with, so you can discuss their requirements with a home care provider and you’re prepared for that initial conversation. Consider how the person’s needs may change and ask if the home has the capacity to increase the amount of care in the future.
Seek professional advice
Seek advice and support from local healthcare professionals. ‘Talk to your GP or your district nurse for advice as they will have had experiences of home care providers,’ says Nicki Bones from SweetTree Home Care Services.
Read the CQC report for the home you have in mind
Every home care provider will have regular inspections of its services or facilities from the Care Quality Commission (also known as CQC). The Care Quality Commission produces a report – called a CQC Report – which rates the quality of the service in terms of whether it is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. It’s advisable to choose a home care provider with a positive rating for all five categories. Find reports on Care Quality Commission’s website by searching for the name of the care provider. Visit http://www.cqc.org.uk
Aim for a better quality of life
Think about how the home will improve the person’s quality of life rather than just keeping them safe. Look for a care home that offers not just personal care but the chance for the person to socialise, engage with the local community and pursue interests or classes that the person would be unable to attend if they were living at home on their own.