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Finding a suitable care home after hospital discharge

Alibear

Registered User
Jun 12, 2018
29
Devon
Hi, I wondered if anyone can help with what is likely to happen now that Mum is to be discharged from hospital after her stroke? She was living at home independently (she has vascular dementia and Alzheimers) and we had got to the point where we knew she needed more care but then she had a stroke 2 weeks ago and went into hospital. Now we are told she needs to be discharged and have agreed she will need to go into a residential home as returning to her own home is sadly no longer an option as she requires 24 hour care (the stroke has affected her speech and communication as well as leaving her muddled on top of all the challenges she already faced).
We have been given the names of 2 homes with vacancies in our area today - neither of which sound very appealing at this point (obviously we need to visit them) but i wonder how long the hospital will reasonably give us to find a suitable place for Mum locally? Or will they just force us into one? Mum is self funding by the way.
I'd appreciate your experiences in this as i feel like i'm being pressured already...
 

Melles Belles

Registered User
Jul 4, 2017
404
South east
If you’re self funding you could look on carehome.co.uk and input the location you require and a list will come up. I would look at the CQC report for each home. Then just phone round. I had to do this when my Dad needed to leave hospital. About 3 out of 18 had a vacancy. I hope you can find a suitable place.
 

Alibear

Registered User
Jun 12, 2018
29
Devon
Yeah we looked on that site and the 2 homes that have vacancies are on there but the CQC reports for both of them aren't great. The hospital phoned around for places and they were the only ones that came up today - how long do you think they would give us to find somewhere else?
 

Yardman

Registered User
Dec 14, 2019
22
Yeah we looked on that site and the 2 homes that have vacancies are on there but the CQC reports for both of them aren't great. The hospital phoned around for places and they were the only ones that came up today - how long do you think they would give us to find somewhere else?
Hello I went through this experience some 3 months ago. When you have got a short list and are able to visit. Take at least 2 of you. I was advised to check the toilets on suite and communal. Does the place smell fresh !!!! What is the ratio of staff to residents. True or otherwise I have been told it is down to the Home to work that out. What is it during the night shift. How do they manage residents who are difficult especially at night. Are there regular visits. If you are self funding the Home should do an assessment prior to discharge anyway. Once you have chosen ensure that you have marker pens for each item of clothing. My experience indicates that items go.missing. No valuables as they can can go walk about. There may be a resident you could talk to.
Do not be pressured by the member of staff at the hospital who wants a discharge. Provided you show reasonable steps are being taken they will have to wait. Watch the sales pitch.
good luck Yardman
 

Alibear

Registered User
Jun 12, 2018
29
Devon
Thanks @Yardman - i'll phone around a load myself as i'm not sure which ones the hospital tried. We have quite a few in our area but its not clear which ones specialize in dementia. I feel its such a big responsibility that i don't want to be forced into something i'm really not comfortable with.
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,211
I think you're right to phone around, if you're self funding you will have a wide choice of care homes so shouldn't have too much of a problem finding somewhere you like with a vacancy. Having said that, do visit the homes you don't think sound great - they may surprise you. Look at how the residents are cared for, and ignore the decor. And of course avoid anywhere which smells of wee!

The hospital will want your mother moved on as soon as possible, and to be honest that would be better for her too. If you do have to move her to a CH you aren't keen on, you could use it as a stop-gap and put her on the waiting list for one you prefer.
 

Alibear

Registered User
Jun 12, 2018
29
Devon
Yes @Sirena - i did think if we were really pressured into moving quickly we could always go onto a waiting list for a more preferable one, i'm really hoping not to move her a second time but its always an option i suppose. We are going to view the 2 homes the hospital found for us tomorrow (with an open mind) even if it just gives us something to compare others with. Fingers crossed!
 

Jules62

New member
Mar 9, 2020
1
I went through this is November with my Mum. Unfortunately she isn’t self funding but the hospital provided us with a social worker. We were told mum was medically fit for discharge and had to leave hospital as soon as possible. I wasn’t given any choice and they moved her to an EAB unit on a temporary basis within days. We had no choice of where she was taken for this 8 week period and th place she went to was awful as they restrained and she was covered in bruises. I was allocated another social worker at this care home who took us through the local,authority funding assessment and chc funding. Once this was all settled I was pressurised into,placing mum into one of the 2 care homes the local authority had found with a space. Neither were suitable and one even asked for a top up which I refused to do - I would not have chosen that home in any case. Eventually I had to make calls and identify a home myself that took LA Funded residents. Good luck.
 

Alibear

Registered User
Jun 12, 2018
29
Devon
Hi everyone, I've now contacted every home in our local area to check for vacancies and we are basically only left with the 2 places that our care manager at the hospital came up with. Lots of places aren't suitable for pwd and a few are now on lock down and will not take anyone because of the risk of Coronavirus. We have viewed the relevant homes (one of which is under "special measures" from CQC but has an inspection due in 8 weeks) and the other one is ok but i'm having difficulty getting enthusiastic about it - its just not what i'd ever have hoped for.
We still feel under pressure to get her moved, even more so now with this flippin Coronavirus in the mix. The care management team say we may have to now look alot further afield to source an appropriate home but we really want her to stay local if possible - talk about stuck between a rock and a hard place! My brain hurts now...
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,216
South coast
None of these places are what were ever invisaged for our relatives @Alibear. Try looking at other places that would have taken her, but didnt have vacancies, to give you an idea of what else is available. What you could do is take one of the two offered and also put her name down on the waiting list somewhere else. Its not ideal, but as you say, rock and hard place. You may even find that the place your mum first moves to is actually good. The place mum was moved to straight from hospital was one that I had mentally discounted as it seemed outdated and shabby, but once she was there I realised that actually, the care was very good, so mum stayed there.
 

Woo2

Registered User
Apr 30, 2019
1,697
South East
Great advice from @canary , I was going to say the same . I’m sorry you don’t feel happy with them but hopefully it won’t be for long. Hope you find somewhere soon you are happy with . 🤞
 

Mothers daughter

Registered User
Feb 4, 2020
16
Hi Alibear
We had a similar situation and Mum was put in a CH that we just knew was not for her. Her social worker actually sent us a link to check vacancies in all our surrounding area - they are updated once a week apparently so can change quickly. We are with Derbyshire County Council - but your council may have the same
Good luck
 

Alibear

Registered User
Jun 12, 2018
29
Devon
The latest update on our predicament goes as follows - the lady from the one care home we found locally that seemed the most acceptable of the 2 went to assess Mum in hospital this morning and basically the hospital have told her that Mum has been very aggitated, not sleeping at all and has been violent (punching on two separate occassions) so understandably the care home have refused to take her! That was all news to us so we challenged the hospital who then started to back track and said she wasn't that bad at all! Beggars belief.
We have asked for Mums meds to be reviewed immediately as she has been given lorazepam which for the last 8 days and apparently this has had no effect other than to make her unsteady so we can't understand why they have continued it when her sleep is still poor and now she is "allegedly" becoming violent?!
The hospital maintains that its not the best place for her to be but are doing nothing to help her move to a more appropriate environment. The stroke ward which she is still on seem to have neither the time or patience to deal effectively with a person with dementia.
I've worked so hard to try and do everything i can for Mum and its so frustrating when you have to hand control over to someone else and you watch everything fall apart and go to pieces - its heartbreaking.
 

Jale

Registered User
Jul 9, 2018
443
I think 3 care homes assessed mum in hospital and said they couldn't cope with her, the hospital social worker then found us a nursing home who said that they would take her, Mum's nursing home was rated as needing improvement when she was admitted there but I must say that we are more than happy with it, if you do find one that will take your mum speak to visitors if possible and see what they say, that's what we did initially, we were also told that if we wanted to go and see what the home was like we could go at any time which we did. I never wanted Mum to go into a home but I now realise that it is the best place for her.

Good luck and take care of yourself
 

Hedgepig

New member
May 10, 2018
5
Hi everyone, I've now contacted every home in our local area to check for vacancies and we are basically only left with the 2 places that our care manager at the hospital came up with. Lots of places aren't suitable for pwd and a few are now on lock down and will not take anyone because of the risk of Coronavirus. We have viewed the relevant homes (one of which is under "special measures" from CQC but has an inspection due in 8 weeks) and the other one is ok but i'm having difficulty getting enthusiastic about it - its just not what i'd ever have hoped for.
We still feel under pressure to get her moved, even more so now with this flippin Coronavirus in the mix. The care management team say we may have to now look alot further afield to source an appropriate home but we really want her to stay local if possible - talk about stuck between a rock and a hard place! My brain hurts now...
My Mum had a fall at home and broke her leg 10th March. Now discharged to Nursing Home (CQC 'requires improvement') Desperate attempts to have Mum transferred to a care home of our choice scuppered by coronavirus which is now present in both homes. Visiting not allowed and THIS is the issue. HOW CAN WE SUPPORT OUR LOVED ONES IN CARE WITHOUT CONTACT? The nursing home has just one telephone line which is often engaged and when I do get through I can't speak to Mum. WHAT WE NEED IS A DEAL WITH BT TO ADD EXTRA LINES AND DONATE BASE-UNIT PHONES TO ALL CAREHOMES; so handsets can be taken to our loved ones and we can have at least a weekly conversation without blocking the home's business calls. PLEASE CAMPAIGN ON THIS. A 'conversation' with sign language through a closed window is of NO USE to someone who feels isolated, alone, deserted and betrayed. PLEASE HELP!
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,045
Welcome to the forum Hedgepig. I'm in the same awful position and can't visit my Mum in her care home, although they are trying to arrange video calls when they can, which has been some comfort. I read in the news today that the Alzheimer's Society has written to the government specifically about those in care home who are getting no contact from their families and have asked for technology to be made available to help. Hopefully things might change but there are a lot of us here who know exactly how you are feeling so please continue to post as there's lots of support available here.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
188
Hi everyone, I've now contacted every home in our local area to check for vacancies and we are basically only left with the 2 places that our care manager at the hospital came up with. Lots of places aren't suitable for pwd and a few are now on lock down and will not take anyone because of the risk of Coronavirus. We have viewed the relevant homes (one of which is under "special measures" from CQC but has an inspection due in 8 weeks) and the other one is ok but i'm having difficulty getting enthusiastic about it - its just not what i'd ever have hoped for.
We still feel under pressure to get her moved, even more so now with this flippin Coronavirus in the mix. The care management team say we may have to now look alot further afield to source an appropriate home but we really want her to stay local if possible - talk about stuck between a rock and a hard place! My brain hurts now...
It's immensely stressful finding a care-home at the best of times. Hospitals are not a good place for people with dementia. My mum was (there's no pretty way of saying it) like a wild rabid animal in hospital after her stroke. I was under pressure to get her out, as they just had no idea how to deal with her. The first home was a stopgap just because it was better than hospital. It is not great to have to move from one care-home to another. I had to do it twice, as mum was often aggressive and sometimes violent. I did find a small home nearby eventually which was prepared to take her and the staff there have worked tirelessly to make things as good as they can be, changing medication and involving dementia teams. Are there any care-homes further away which can deal with challenging behaviour and will assess your mum with a view to taking her? They will at least look into medication and other ways in which to help your mum (you can search on carehome.co.uk under area and there is then a pull down menu where you can click on challenging behaviour). It is unfortunately unlikely you will be able to visit due to the current situation anyway, so she needn't be close by. That will be hard but it will give you breathing space and your mum may well calm down once out of the hospital environment, with carers who are used to these situations. This is a most distressing time for you but please keep checking in for advice and let off steam. We understand what you are facing and will help you in any way we can.
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,211
I visited my mother's care home yesterday - when I say visited, I stood outside and dropped off toiletries (and chocolates), and had a distanced chat with a senior member of staff.

He told me they have set up a Whatsapp group so that relatives can contact their loved ones. He gave me a separate number for it, and from what he said I think you can do a video call. That is no use for my mother (she would have no idea what was going on) but there are other residents who I think would be able to use it. So @Hedgepig maybe you could suggest this as a possibility to the care home.