When the time comes, choosing a care home will be one of the most important decisions anyone can make for their loved one. Finding the right home that can offer everything your loved one needs to ensure that they can be content and well cared for, can be a daunting task. It is often hard to know where to start, so this handy “Care Home Checklist” will give you some great tips. Once you have a list of homes in the area, here is a few of our suggestions on what to do next.
Before you Visit the Home:
- Check that they provide the right level of care for now and in the future.
- Does the home currently have vacancies or is there a waiting list?
- Obtain a brochure for the home or have a look at their website.
- Check out their last Care Quality Commission (CQC) Inspection Report and read it! They are easily obtainable from the CQC Website.
Once you are ready to Visit the Home:
- Book an appointment with the manager, if you can it would be great to go over a meal time, then you can see the food that is on offer and how staff are interacting.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask: A lot of information will be collected by just seeing the home, meeting the manager and the staff, so make sure your questions are ones that are not so obviously answered in a tour of the home.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the “difficult” questions, Managers and Carers will be used to dealing with a range of needs and issues, so they should be well equipped to answer the most personal of questions in relation to your loved ones care. Things like “how does my loved one call if they need help” and who will respond and how quickly. Or “how do we overcome personal hygiene issues”. These type of questions are often hard to raise but can be indicative of a home’s style of care.
- Check out the web, there are various comprehensive “Checklists” that you can download to use. Visit websites such as Age UK, for pre-made templates which help give you pointers of what specifics to look at.
Comparing Homes after you Visit:
- This is where a spreadsheet would be really helpful, for you to clearly map out the pro’s and con’s of each home you visit.
- Don’t forget that it is often about a “feel” of a home and one where you click most with the staff and the setting. Only you and your loved one know what is most important to your care, so don’t be afraid to trust your instincts.