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    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

Care homes. Where do I start?

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by CMS91, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. CMS91

    CMS91 New member

    Jul 22, 2019
    7
    My nan who has been my mum all my life was diagnosed with mixed dementia last year. With her deteorating quite rapidly now I think she may need to go into a care home by this time next year and she actually agrees which is surprising. But as we all know with dementia that could change at any point.

    It's something I hate thinking about and makes me so upset everytime I do but I know I need to prepare myself for it. But I have no idea where to start when that time comes.

    Who do I contact to start the process? Doctor, social services etc?

    Do you have a choice in the care home or are they chosen for you?

    How long does the process take roughly from making the decision to move her into a home to get actually going into one?

    Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,489
    Female
    England
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,531
    Female
    South coast
    Before you start thinking about a care home too seriously, try care at home - carers coming in to help woth washing/dressing/meds, or sorting out a simple meal for her. Get somone to help with housework, laundry and shopping. Maybe try a day centre to help her socialise and stimulated.

    The best place to start is asking Social Services for a needs assessment, so that you know what can be offered. Some day centres need a referral from a SW before you can access them. Organisations such as Age UK can help with housework etc.
     
  4. CMS91

    CMS91 New member

    Jul 22, 2019
    7
    Thank you for responding canary and thanks for the advice That is exactly what I am doing. Care assessment is booked so hopefully something will come out of that. I was just mainly asking for advice on what to do when the time does come because I have no clue what to do. Like everyone I am learning as I go along everyday on what is best for her and how to care and support her in the best way I can.
     
  5. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,531
    Female
    South coast
    Im glad you are already starting to get some help @CMS91 - so many people think in terms of all or nothing!

    There is nothing wrong with going round and looking at care homes to become familiar with what is available in your area. When you go and look at them, though, dont get dazzled by all the bells and whistles - think about what your mum actually needs. My mum moved to a care home that looked very shabby, but the care was wonderful. Much better to have good care in a shabby home than poor care in a beautiful one. Not all homes are equal: even the ones that say they specialise in dementia will, quite often ask you to move your relative once they start developing common dementia problems like wandering, going into other peoples rooms, being up at night, resisting personal care and showing some aggression. I always recommend that you ask the manager what behaviour they would not accept, which may give you an idea of when you might have to move your mum. The care home my mum was in would accept anything except violence that put staff and other residents at risk. A good home will know how to defuse situations to prevent it getting that far on most occasions.

    You can turn up at any time - a place that requires you to stick to visiting hours, or (even worse) makes you book an appointment sounds too controlling to me. Talk to the staff and ask them how long they have worked there and what they think of the place. Good homes usually dont have high staff turn over. Look to see if staff are around - you dont want times or areas when residents are left unsupervised for long periods. Dont worry about seeing people at much later stages of dementia. If you find that they are all about your mums level then this probably means that once they reach a certain point they are moved on.

    I dont know whether your mum will be self funding or whether she will need Local Authority funding, but it is best to ask the care home whether they would accept the LA rates - many care homes will want top-up fees from relatives.

    It all seems overwhelming and I hope I havent given you too much information. Do ask questions as its a big subject.
     
  6. CMS91

    CMS91 New member

    Jul 22, 2019
    7
    Thank you so much. That is all very useful. My grandpa was in a care home and passed in 2012 but my nan dealt with it all at the time and I went to see him regularly but didn't have much involvement in his placement or anything. Unfortunately nan doesn't remember what the process was so I can't talk to her about it which is the saddest part because she has always been the person I go to for everything and it's slowly becoming harder to do that. Our roles are reversing which is one of the things I am struggling with the most. Sorry for the rant!

    Thank you for the advice xx
     
  7. ANITRAM

    ANITRAM Registered User

    Feb 2, 2019
    28
    I actually visited a fair number of care homes last year on Christmas Eve and between Christmas and New Year and was surprised by the range of homes available - extremes of difference in facilities and quality of accommodation on offer and wide variations in price . The vast majority did not require an appointment and just asked me to avoid mealtimes . I avoided two that asked me to make an appointment. In the end I did not choose my MILs care home as it was the only one that would come out to assess her on NYE in an emergency. It was what some people on here call “hotel style” and was very expensive. She has stayed there until her death yesterday and the care she has received from day one has been incredible - so you can have both - great care and a beautiful home - but you have to pay the price . In my opinion when you are self funding not only do you have to pay for the cost of your care but you are left to your own devices to sort this out . My advice to you is to start planning early so that you get a choice - the good care homes do have waiting lists for vacancies . Wishing you best of luck on this horrendous dementia journey which for me is thankfully over .
     
  8. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    3,023
    Nottinghamshire
    Hello @CMS91

    My dad was also in a shabby, very dated, carehome. My heart sank when I saw it!! Dad was taken there as an emergency after a stay in hospital and I would NOT have chosen the place myself...but the care was brilliant and it suited dad very well once the staff got to know him and he'd settled.

    He was only there for 3 months before he died but in that short time he made friends (and enemies - but the staff kept them apart with distraction) and joined in the activities.

    The staff that cared for dad were still there when I visited recently to take a thank you gift and it's now been refurbished so don't let appearance put you off.

    In my area there are no waiting lists but I have at least 6 carehomes within walking distance so we are spoiled for choice.
     
  9. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,531
    Female
    South coast
    #9 canary, Jul 23, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2019
    @CMS91 . The way you start the process rather depends on whether your mum will be self-funding (ie have over £25,000 in savings and assets, including property). If she is self-funded Social Services tend to just let you get on with it and you can pretty much choose wherever you want - provided the home can meet her needs.

    If she would need Local Authority funding then basically you have to persuade SS that a care home is necessary. You really have to prove by trying it that nothing else will work before they will consider a care home.

    The other thing to mention is that the vast majority of care homes will not accept LA rates. The LA has to find at least one care home that will meet her needs and will accept their rate, but it might not be one you would have chosen, or it might be difficult to get to. If you want her to go anywhere else you would have to pay excess - the so-called "top-up fees", which cannot be paid by your mum, they have to be paid by family/friends and it can get very expensive. It is something to ask the care homes about when you visit.


    (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( @ANITRAM ))))))))))))))))))
    Im so sorry to hear your news.
     

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