You probably did not want to have to think about this, but the day has come where you need to look for a home for your parents.
This could be because they are unable to care for themselves any longer and you either live too far away to be able to regularly come and help them, or they require nursing twenty four hours a day.
Naturally, the decision as to whether they go into a home or what sort of home it should be, is your parent’s decision as much as possible. But depending on their health, they may be relying on you to help them make that decision. If this is the first time that you have ever had to do something like this, it could be daunting.
Firstly you need to consider the type of home that your parent needs.
Do they simply need to have someone to remind them to take their medication and make sure they’re alright, or do they need a more intensive nursing typed care?
Finding a residential setting which has more than one type of care available, could be your answer. Because if the time comes when your parent needs to make a transition from a lower level of care to a higher one, it will help if it can all be done under the same roof. This way it is less disorienting for them, they won’t have to physically move and the people and surroundings should be more familiar.
Some other things to think about when looking for a home are;
- HOW DO THE STAFF MEMBERS INTERACT WITH THE RESIDENTS?
Are they sitting chatting with them or are they either left to their own devices or rushing around.
It might not be a bad sign if residents are able to entertain themselves if this is what they prefer, but look out for staff members being too busy or disinterested to take time with residents.
- WHAT ARE THE SURROUNDINGS LIKE – DOES IT FEEL LIKE A HOME?
The absolute basics are the first thing you need to consider and are bound to notice, the cleanliness, the smell and the look of the place. But then there are other things like whether the home provides leisure activities, social outings and has an outdoor space where residents can sit or do gardening.
- HOW FLEXIBLE ARE THEY?
Are meal times an immovable event? Can guests join for dinner? Are overnight visitors allowed? Can small children come and visit? Can residents eat and store food in their own rooms if they prefer?
There are a lot of practical questions about when and whether family and friends can come to visit, that you will need to know in advance.
- WHAT IS THE STAFFING LIKE?
You may want to consider what the ratio of staff to residents is, during the nights, as well as daytimes.
The qualification level of staff is another thing you may wish to look at, such as is anyone specially trained for dementia and other conditions, for example.
The above is only a short guide to choosing a care home, for more information please request our information sheet.