Help shape our new publication on care homes

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Shel_B

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May 5, 2020
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Doncaster
Hi everyone,

Our Publishing team are planning a new publication for when a person with dementia moves into a care home. The factsheet would give emotional and practical advice to carers from the day of the move through to the end of the person’s time in the care home. It is likely to include tips on helping the person to move and settle in, coping with the move emotionally and ways of staying involved in the person’s care going forward.

If you have experience of supporting a person with dementia in a care home, they would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Question 1: Would you find this information useful?

Question 2: Based on your experience, what advice would you give to other carers who are supporting a person with dementia in a care home?

Question 3: Are there any points you would like more information on yourself, when it comes to supporting a person in a care home?

Please share your thoughts below by 31st May, or email them to izabela.k-stanley@alzheimers.org.uk – your feedback is much appreciated!
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
4,859
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Nottinghamshire
Question One I would have found this information useful when I was first looking for care homes. I picked up some great tips from DPT, for instance about asking what behaviour would not be acceptable, and checking if the home smells of wee.
Question Two There is a home out there suitable for everyone (at least I hope there is), but not every home will be right for your person with dementia. It depends on their personality and the stage they are at. Have a very good look round. Looking for my mother and mother in law, two very different people, last year really brought that home. When someone moves in get to know the carers and other residents (not so easy since covid). That will help them get to know what your loved one is like, and help you think of the home as your loved ones home not an institution.
Question three I would quite like advice on how to approach the manger/senior carers when there are problems. I'm not 100% happy with mum's current care home, but I want to be supportive of people doing a difficult job, while ensuring that my mother has the best care.
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
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Question 1: Would you find this information useful?

I would have found it really useful especially when I first realised I had to move dad into care

Question 2: Based on your experience, what advice would you give to other carers who are supporting a person with dementia in a care home?

I always say don't panic if a home is not rated excellent - good is great sometimes in my experience.
Let them settle and try yo build up a rapport with the carers if you can.
When you visit: Take in stuff with you (which you can take back with you if needs be) to amuse or entertain your PWD so you don't find yourself at a loose end or talking round in circles with nothing else to do - this will hugely depend on their ability at present but some ideas are an easy jigsaw, portable skittles game, pictures you can 'paint' with a brush and water, or in my case, an easy-build plane which dad can keep and fiddle with after I've gone.


Question 3: Are there any points you would like more information on yourself, when it comes to supporting a person in a care home?

What to expect - what is reasonable to expect care homes to do, what isn't included, how much allowance (money) is sensible, checklist on what to send them in with? I was told towels but there's been all kinds of things suggested.
 

Shel_B

Administrator
Staff member
May 5, 2020
1,184
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Doncaster
Hi everyone,

Just to let you know the deadline for this is Tuesday 31st May.

It would be great to get some more feedback from you all.

Thanks :)
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
7,582
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Essex
Question 1: I used the information from the Alzheimers Society factsheet to give dad the best possible introduction to a care home.

Question 2: Of course went to dad's proposed home the night before to arrange his things. When he went in I spun a love as I did when we did a couple before he went in. I made sure that he had sugar-free treats, toiletries and that the care home had pocket money. I also advise bringing a small torch as dad's room had an ensuite and if I was using it he used to turn the light out!

Question 3: I couldn't think of these but I would suggest that if you are visiting a care home ask about activities and talk about your PWD on a bad day .

MaNaAk
 

Greyone

Registered User
Sep 11, 2013
396
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UK
After a hospital visit, mum spent a short while in a care home as transitional care and then as a resident. Our social worker chose the care home, which I don't know but my sister and I were not part of the decision-making process. She was there on council contract so we benefited from council rates and decided not to make a fuss. Not sure we would be in any position to change this decision (or make waves doing so). Throughout the process we felt very alone and forced to deal with out situation & emotions unaided.
 

Pots and Pans

Registered User
Jan 13, 2020
275
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Only just gone down this route ( posting on this elsewhere so you will see not smooth start!) so can't comment on 2 and 3 but all would be useful. Tips I picked up here when looking around included: being brutally honest about worst days, looking at decor and building to see if it is the sort that would suit persons taste - my OH prefers cosy, old buildings with outdoor space to anything too posh ( as always did on holidays, which is a good benchmark) Ask about activities. And do look round properly and see if residents look occupied and happy enough. They vary a lot.
If challenging behaviour need to know about EMI too. Useful to have v brief description of different sorts of homes.
Biggest problem for me though was how to go about it. What PWD wants to go into care home? What happens if they say no? Even if you have POA in place. Capacity assessments? Care needs assessments? Social services needed even if self funding? What do care home need to know is in place? Who is best person to help? Dementia nurse, social worker, doctor? All very confusing. Simple signposting of steps to take would help.
Then ... what to pack? Jumpers that can withstand hot washes! Petty cash? What isn't included in most fees eg,: you might have to provide continence products yourself despite eye-watering fee.
Once there, I've seen advice on not sweating it too much over things that don't really matter - like muddled clothes.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
7,582
0
Essex
Question 1: I used the information from the Alzheimers Society factsheet to give dad the best possible introduction to a care home.

Question 2: Of course went to dad's proposed home the night before to arrange his things. When he went in I spun a love as I did when we did a couple before he went in. I made sure that he had sugar-free treats, toiletries and that the care home had pocket money. I also advise bringing a small torch as dad's room had an ensuite and if I was using it he used to turn the light out!

Question 3: I couldn't think of these but I would suggest that if you are visiting a care home ask about activities and talk about your PWD on a bad day .

MaNaAk
Is this reply okay and is this how you submit?
 

HarrietD

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 29, 2014
7,573
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London
Thanks so much everyone for your thoughts :)

@MaNaAk yes that's perfect, the Publishing team welcomes any feedback both on the thread and via email.
 

Carmenjane

Registered User
Mar 17, 2022
71
0
I would definitely have found a guide like you describe very useful.
Tips - if you are lucky enough to have a choice, do your research. I didn't really know what to look for so I just went on my gut feeling and realised along the way that a calm atmosphere is very important and a lack of smells of any sort - urine, disinfectant, air fresheners, cooking ... Outdoor space is important. How you are treated as a visitor, are you given time? I cried a lot at the first one I went to (which I chose in the end) and was treated with understanding and compassion. Are there different spaces the residents can go to, not all lumped together with the tv on. What are the arrangements for visiting residents and/or taking them out?

Just checked the questions again and see you want to know tips for supporting your DWP in a care home. Advice I got from this forum is - have no expectations, take it a day at a time, try different things and see what works and don't be upset if something worked one day and not another. At the moment my OH enjoys me reading to him out of the journals I kept when we were travelling.
One day my OH wouldn't speak to me and it turned out that he'd been the life and soul of the party at coffee morning and was exhausted (probably hosting). I agree with other comments above that it's important to achieve a good relationship with the staff, be friendly and considerate, and don't sweat the small stuff. Don't leave expensive items, they will get lost and label everything.

Things I would have liked to know more about - social service involvement, DoL safeguarding, information about PoA - I didn't know you had to register them with the various organisations. And I would have liked to know that I would have to provide incontinence pads possibly for months. Another tip here - you can order Tena products on line and get them delivered direct to the home. Make sure you know what type the home prefers.

Finally, just trawling through all the threads on this forum has given me so much information and advice, I read them all even if they don't apply to my situation .... yet. Be prepared.



Things I wou
 

Moggymad

Registered User
May 12, 2017
980
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By prior arrangement we moved mum from a rehab home to a care home on a Sunday. There were no management on duty & the senior carer who dealt with us was rather distracted. Mum went there with a uti & I was at pains to explain how often these occurred & how she needed someone to accompany her to the toilet so she didn’t fall. None of this info seemed to get passed on & it was very upsetting the next day to see mum wandering about looking for a toilet with her trousers already soaked. Perhaps a move when management are there would be wise.
It may have just been mums home but being new to it all I didn’t know the staff hierachy so I would be having a bit of a moan about something to a carer which didn’t get passed on. It wasn’t obvious by uniform who was senior & the route I should have taken with my niggles & concerns. It really does take time for everyone to adjust including us having to let go of the reins so to speak.
 

HarrietD

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 29, 2014
7,573
0
London
Thanks @Moggymad for sharing your thoughts and advice. I'm sorry to hear about the upsetting experience you had with your mum.

We'll be closing this thread now, but we and the Publishing team really appreciate all of your feedback :)
 
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