When choosing what is best for a vulnerable person you support, care homes often come up as the safest solution. They offer round the clock support and supervision, as well as safe surroundings, consistent routine and company for their residents. It isn’t the only solution, and care homes can differ quite a lot – so here are some tips for those considering a care home for their loved one.
Is it the right time?
There are many indicators to look out for if you want to know if moving into a care home is the right thing to do in the present moment. The care-recipient in question may have had a recent deterioration in health, for example, symptoms of dementia may have increased suddenly, a fall or illness may have significantly decreased mobility and freedom, or a crisis or hospital admission could mean their needs have increased. These are all good reasons to consider a care home, as the safety and happiness of the care-recipient may be jeopardised and increased supervision could be better for their health and wellbeing. If they are showing signs of depression or loneliness, the community of a care home may be beneficial, so it is worth considering a care home if their emotional wellbeing appears to be suffering.
Another way to know if it is a good time is if the circumstances of those close to them have changed – if friends, family or neighbours are no longer able to put in the amount of time and care they could before, a care home may be the safer and kinder option. A move can be stressful and tiring, so it is important to carefully consider how much time and energy those around the care-recipient can realistically put in.
Involve the carer and care-recipient
Planning any changes or moves must be done with the care-recipient as much as possible. The more you can involve them in the discussions and decision making the better. Ensuring they feel in control of their circumstances is very important for their mental wellbeing, as is ensuring the best decision is made by all. Even if the person has decreased mental capacity, it is still important to try to communicate the process and decisions as clearly and as much as possible. Make sure any current carers are involved in the conversation – they may have built a strong bond with the care-recipient over the years and will most likely have solid advice to give. Furthermore, separating the carer and the care-recipient without consulting the two could cause pain and upset to both, so communication is key.
Choosing the right home
Each home differs, so make sure you research thoroughly. There are many guides and checklists out there with detailed information on what you should consider and look for, so make use of these. Homes can also offer different packages and level of care, such as this North Devon Care Home, so having in-depth conversations at each potential home is of the utmost importance.