Going looking for a care home

Poppetweb

Registered User
My mother is going too look at a care home which has been recommended to her. It will be about 11 miles from their home to the care residence.

Unfortunately, there isn't one closer which is (a) recommendable and (b) suitable for Alzheimers patients.

I, as their son, am worried that the travel distance will be too much for my mother as she doesn't drive, has diabetes and various other minor arthritic ailments.

I know she will want to visit as much as possible (every day perhaps) but I just wonder about this and a few other things.

Will the care home recommend that in the early stages of settlement my mother (or I for that matter) doesn't visit as regular as we might want to in case my father wants to come home with her?

My mother doesn't want me to go with her when she goes to view the home but instead wants to go with her 'social worker'.

I have transport but I will be only able to visit my dad at weekends as I work during the week. At least now I can go and see him at home (five miles away) any night of the week.
 

noelphobic

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
3,452
Liverpool
There's no reason why you can't go to the home with your mum and the social worker, although if your mum really doesn't want you to go then obviously you can't force the issue. I take it she has a lot of faith in this social worker. Does she appreciate the fact that once your dad goes into a home the social worker will no longer be on the scene.

You could also visit the home alone and unannounced. Just turn up one day and say you're looking for a home for your dad and could you have a look around. I would definitely recommend doing this if you can find the time. If the home know someone is coming then everything and everyone will be on their best behaviour as far as possible. If they have a problem with an unannounced visit then something is wrong anyway.

Who has recommended the care home to your mum? The best recommendation would come ideally either from a resident or from someone who frequently visits a resident. Social workers often have their own agendas.

If you know the name of the home and go to this link you can find the CSCI reports on it which may be of some help.

http://www.csci.org.uk/registeredservicesdirectory/rsquicksearch.asp

It is possible that the home may advise against visiting too often in the early stages of your father moving in. However, that kind of advice is questionable and does not have to be followed.

I hope this is of some help. I have been through the process of finding a home for my mum twice - the first time soon after my dad had died and the second time after my mum had broke her hip in the first one thus rendering herself 'unsuitable' to return to them! It is a stressful and worrying time but you can only do the best you can.

I don't know how you feel about your mum not wanting you to look at the home with you. I would have thought she would appreciate your opinion.
 
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Poppetweb

Registered User
I did not know about that website so that link has been good because I was able to read more about the home she is going to see.

On the subject of me viewing the place, I think she is concerned that I will have to take time out of work - but really that isn't a problem for me.

Thanks for the information. It's put a different perspective on my thoughts.
 

Poppetweb

Registered User
Today's the day

We are going to look at a care home today. It's one specifically for Alzheimer's patients.

My mother has been before but this will be my first time.

It's hard to think this will be where my father lives until his dying day. At over £500/mth it's supposed to be a nice place.

It's 11 miles from where they currently live and my mum will visit every day by bus. It takes over an hour to get there (2 buses) and the same coming back.

I'll let you know how we get on.
 

rummy

Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
700
Oklahoma,USA
I really understand how you feel, we placed Mom a week ago and it has been really hard. I know that time heals all things and each day gets a little easier.
Take care and I hope all goes well.
Debbie
 

Kayla

Registered User
May 14, 2006
621
Kent
My Mum has been in two care homes and a nursing home. We were invited to visit at any time we wanted, by all three, as they operate on a 24/7 basis. Obviously it would be rather silly to turn up at midnight! I have always tried to visit Mum several times a week, and at different times of the day, and there has never been a problem. If they have nothing to hide, why should there be?
I would be very suspicious of a home which wanted to restrict visits by relatives. All the more reason to visit, if they have dementia and are confused. They might feel that everyone has deserted them otherwise.
Do you have the cost per month right? Around here, the cost of a care home per week is nearly £400 and a nursing home would be £600 or £700. EMI could be more.
Transport to and from the home is a major factor to consider, especially if there are to be several visits a week. A home further away, might actually have better public transport links.
Kayla
 

Poppetweb

Registered User
Yes, indeed, the care home is £513 per week, not per month - silly us! It looks like we won't be able to afford that so he will have to stay at home with my mum.

He is going for some respite care - 2 weeks in September.

The home we looked at was excellent and the report indicate the actual care is just as good.
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Hiya,
Is your father self funding, or does he qualify for help? If your mum is struggling to manage, then you cannot simply say 'he will have to stay at home'. I think you need to look into this further. And if your dad does stay at home, then you need to get all the support for you mum that you can.
Only my opinion.
Love Helen
 

Poppetweb

Registered User
My mother has chosen one of the most expensive homes because she is happy with it and thinks it will provide the level of care which he is entitled to. He worked all his life so why shouldn't he have the best?

He has less than £12,000 in savings (most money is in the house which he shares with my mother - worth about £100,000 to £115,000).

Social Services said all his personal pension and state pension would go towards his care - the remainded has to be found from somewhere else.
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Hiya Poppetweb,
I repeat, you need to research this further. Your mum cannot be removed from the house to pay the NH fees, so the local authority may well cover the balance of the fees after pensions etc have been deducted, then take the money owed from the Estate.
Unfair as it seems, the system is that those who have savings and income, and property have to use that to finance NH care. Depending on your dad's level of need he may qualify for some nursing care funding.
If mum is beginning to struggle caring for dad, if help or full time care isn't sorted, you could end up looking for a NH for them both.
My experience with the whole system is that nothing ever just 'materialises'. You have to hassle them!
Take care,
Love,
Helen
 

Poppetweb

Registered User
Hi,

Things differ from local authority to local authority. Here they want you to go to the cheapest council-run home (if there is one for dementia) and if you don't you have to pay the difference - it's as simple as that. We have been 'looking into it' for months so we have a good idea of the situation here.
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
I think that is the same everywhere. The problem is their pot of money isn't bottomless - they have to come up with some guidelines.
Helen
 

Kayla

Registered User
May 14, 2006
621
Kent
My MIL didn't want to go into a care home, but in the end she had to have nursing care because she could no longer take care of herself, or even stand up. The hospital could have moved her into a council run respite centre for a month, which would have been free, because she had limited savings. However, after a month she would have needed to go elsewhere, which would have been unsettling for a 91 year old lady.
She went into a private home and had to pay "top-up fees", which could not come from her own money. This meant that my husband and brother-in-law had to pay about £60 a week each towards her care. Unfortunately, my MIL died quite suddenly as she had a cancerous growth in her abdomen, which couldn't be treated because of her age and poor health.
I don't think relatives should be blackmailed into paying top-up fees and although we only had to pay for a couple of weeks, we really couldn't have afforded to have continued paying for any length of time. My husband is retired and I'm self-employed and my earnings have halved in the last year through lost earnings, due partly to my Mum's ill health.
Kayla
 

Poppetweb

Registered User
Things have got worse over the last few weeks with my father and his condition. He's still at home but can no longer find the toilet and my mother (his carer) has great difficulty getting him to the toilet and to bed. Even if I help it's near impossible. Some weeks she only gets 16 hours sleep (Monday- Sunday).

We have been looking at care homes which can take mentally ill and the best we have done so far is find one which can take respite for 2 weeks (in October). This is turning out not to be soon enough and my mother has decided to sell her house so that he can go into a BUPA home permanently which only has a very short waiting list.

This is now essential as the LHA will only pay £448 a week and the top-up makes it much more expensive.
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Hiya Poppetweb,
Sorry that your dad's condition is changing so quickly. What is your mum going to do when she sells the house?
Love Helen
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Hiya again,
Sorry I'm asking another question, just don't know how the system works.

If dad goes into a BUPA home does the LEA still pay the £448 per week, and then mum has to top it up? Or, because dad's equity becomes available, does he then become completely self funding, and has to pay the full fees until the cash is reduced to around £20000 when the sliding scale starts?

So say the BUPA home is £700 per week, that is £36000+ per year; OK this would not all come from the equity as there are pensions, nursing care element, and carers allowance etc, but has mum worked out how long she will be able to afford this?

Just a thought.
Love Helen
 

Poppetweb

Registered User
It's not about money. He needs care. She can't care for him any longer. The house will pay for his care. The house is his and so he's entitled to the money. My mum can live in a one bedroom flat - he can't.

I think because the equity will be there from the sale the money will pay fully for his care.