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Difference between care home and residential

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by perfectpatience, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. perfectpatience

    perfectpatience Registered User

    Oct 3, 2006
    I wonder if anyone could tell me the difference between a nursing care home and a residential care home? My reason being that my mum is in a residential/care home where the dementia patients are mixed with the ordinary residents. Although the home is in a lovely rural setting (with views and fields) Iam starting to think my mum would be better off in a different home more suited to her needs. The home informs me she is not at the moment too much for them...but she has gone downhill at a fast rate since being there....I wonder if I should look for a better suited place for her. For instance should it be such a chore to feed a resident when they cant no longer eat by themselves? Would a nursing home be more of a caring place? This is all new to me. Mum just being in a home since January...and before that I had never set foot in one in my life. Also when I walk in the home despite being very clean...there is a strong smell of urine in certain parts of the corridor....is this usual? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Kind regards. PP x x
  2. clare

    clare Registered User

    Oct 7, 2005
    hi perfectpatience

    have you tried looking at the factsheets, link top right hand corner, Ive always found them very good.
    Its my belief that the main difference with a nursing home is that some of the staff have to be trained nurses. Not just carers.

    Do you have a cpn or social worker because i think if your mum needs to be moved to a nursing home they do an assessment of her needs and this is used to determine what home is most suitable .

    We are in this process at the moment. my mums needs are greater than just being cared for. only hope the various medial people agree.

  3. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    Clare is right in saying that a nursing home has to have qualified nurses on their staff. The costs are also usually higher. My mum was originally in an EMI 'care' home but after she broke her hip and spent a month in hospital she went to a nursing home. You will generally find that the residents in a nursing home are more physically incapacitated than those in a care home eg many nursing home residents will be in wheelchairs or bedridden whereas in a care home I think you pretty much have to be able to walk, even if it is with a zimmer or similar aid. Some nursing home residents may also be fed artificially.

    I don't think a nursing home would necessarily be more caring, it's just that the care needed is more intensive. Also, if an assessment of needs is done then even if the resident is self funding they may get a (smallish) contribution towards care costs. This may soften the blow of the higher fees a little.

    As far as the smell of urine goes, I would say it's probably not terribly unusual unfortunately!

    I hope this is of some help and if you want to ask anything else then feel free.
  4. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    Hi perfectpatience,

    I think clare and noelphobic have put it well. Nursing homes are for people who need 24 hour access to medical care, so usually have complex/intensive medical needs.

    In order for a care home to look after EMI (elderly mentally ill) residents, they need to meet certain standards. Some homes will be licensed to have only a few EMI residents and the majority of residents will be elderly people without dementia. It's not unusual for the EMI residents to have entered the home before their dementia developed and the home has applied for them to remain as EMI residents.

    There are other care homes that only take EMI residents. When I was looking at care homes for my father-in-law (who is still at home with his wife at the moment), I found the homes that only took EMI residents had developed a real understanding of the individual need of people with dementia. Saying that, there was quite a bit of variation between EMI homes - the gap between the best and the worst was clear.

    I have no idea if a change of home would make any difference to your mother's condition. Previous discussions on TP indicate that moving someone with AD from one environment to another can cause a deterioration, at least temporarily. Perhaps it would be helpful if you could at least look at some EMI homes to see for yourself if there are any concrete differences ( what did the comment should it be such a chore to feed a resident when they cant no longer eat by themselves? mean by the way?) that you think might make a difference to your mother's care.

    The best way of looking for EMI homes is using the CSCI web site:


    You can also use the CSCI web site to look up the inspection report for your mother's current home.

    Take care,

  5. perfectpatience

    perfectpatience Registered User

    Oct 3, 2006
    Changing care home

    Thankyou all so much for your advice. I found it most helpful. I even looked at the care inspection report for the home that my mum is in and it didn't really look that great to be honest. The inspection report was carried out in Aug 2005 and I think to be fair some of the things have improved since then. I still feel there is room for improvement at the home...and Iam defantly considering moving mum in the future....especially as her dementia is deterioriating...and she is becoming weaker. My comment about feeding was that the other day I went earlier than normal and found my mum in the dining room with no one feeding her...a cup of tea was spilt all over her and no one was taking any notice....these things set alarm bells off in my head you can imagine. My mum has lost alot of weight since January also...but of course I know it is alot to do with the illness. Thankyou again. Kind regards. PP x

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