First things first, before you even start looking at potential care homes; you need to know what’s important to the individual planning to move. Whether its location, certain facilities or specialist healthcare, you need to know what their priorities are. If the individual in question has an incurable condition or is approaching the end of their life, it’s also important to look into whether the care home can provide high-quality palliative care.
Other things to consider when searching for a care home are things such as social activities on offer, any requirements in the care home contract and the room itself. A good care home at the very minimum will be safe, effective, caring, responsive to individual needs and well-led.
Be sure to go and have a good look around the care home before committing. You’ll want to make sure that you’re confident that your belongings are safe and secure, that any equipment is well maintained and that there are always enough staff on duty. It’s a good idea to ask about how staff deal with any incidents or accidents, a good care home will be open about this.
Luckily there is plenty of information available; there are many sites that helpfully list care homes by location, allowing you to, for instance, search for retirement villages in Devon amongst other. In the UK specifically, there are four watchdogs who inspect and report on care providers. In England and Scotland, there are also handy ratings available.
Certain things to look out for in these reports are if issues raised have been addressed successfully, or if they reappear again on later reports, as well as staff turnover and how often inspections occur.
Freedom is a big thing at care homes, you or your loved one should be free to do the things that they want to do, even if they have a disability or other needs. If you require medication, does the care home support and encourage you to be as independent as possible? Similarly, you’ll want to make sure that you have enough privacy and that your friends and family can come and visit you.
Are resident views taken into consideration? This can be over things such as food, activities or serious issues such as safety. A good care home will also ensure that the individual is always asked to give their consent to any care, treatment or support offered in an easy to understand way. Does the care home have a good, active relationship with your GP? This is imperative when it comes to making the right decisions about your health.
The best care homes have staff that goes the extra mile to get to know you and your loved ones. Knowing your background, likes, hopes, needs and much more are vital in ensuring that you get the best care possible. The relationship you and your loved ones will form with the staff should be full of trust and most importantly, respect. Do you know who the manager is? It should be clear who’s in charge and what their responsibilities are.
Your care plan, including treatment, support and personal information should be written out in a plan that lists what the staff will be doing to ensure that you or your loved one is receiving completely personalised care.