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Is this the best care home in UK?

Polly1945

Registered User
Oct 24, 2012
261
0
Hereford
Hi all,

Just wanted to let you all know how great the staff are at Mum's care home here in Hereford. It isn't private but run by a company for the Local Authority. Mum only has to pay a small contribution towards her stay (less than £600 per month).

We all worry ourselves silly, when having to even consider putting our loved ones into a care home, but I couldn't have found a better one even if I was paying out £1000s.

This week five carers have taken four residents (my mum being one of them) to the seaside for a holiday (Mon to Fri) They have rented a special home from the Lions Charity and were all taken to the seaside by the Lions minibus.

One carer is allocated to one resident, with a spare carer in tow. Today I received a lovely postcard signed by Mum, saying how they were all enjoying themselves, despite the great british weather!

There is some much thought put into keeping the residents occupied and happy in this home. I am thinking of putting my name of their waiting list;)

Just thought it was nice to share something positive with you all, and especially for ones who are dreading the thought of care homes.

Has anyone else had such good experiences?


Pauline
 

Anongirl

Registered User
Aug 8, 2012
2,668
0
Aww that sounds amazing! I'm starting to wish I lived in Hereford!

I don't have experience of care homes. At the advice of mum's GP I am starting to view a few. Mum isn't quite ready yet but just in case things take a dive I want to be prepared with where I would like (and not like) her to go.

I started a thread about it. The one I viewed surprised me a great deal. The residents looked happy, relaxed, clean and alert. It was a very positive place. Not like some of the places I've read about. Care homes often get bad press but there clearly are good ones out there. We just have to keep our fingers crossed we find them.

I'm so glad you and your mum found one! xxx
 

Eternity

Registered User
Jul 17, 2013
226
0
London
Thank you Pauline and Anongirl, it is reassuring to hear about the good homes out there. I've only been to see a couple and felt not quite sure about them and got scared off from looking at others

Just wish there was a list somewhere of perfect wonderful care homes

x

PS can you add my name too to their waiting list please:)
 

Girl Afraid

Registered User
Aug 16, 2012
20
0
Staffordshire
Oh how lovely you have found such caring people to care for you mom and to take the time to do such thoughtful things not only for your mom but for you also i know how much those little things help. My dad has been in 3 different homes and each was very different in their care approach, the first 2 were not very good at all ( in my opion) Dad was relativley well in them he was struggling mostly with aggressive challenging behaviour but both homes were so far away from me i couldn't get to see him as much as i wantedso asked if someone could help dad to call me once a week when he was feeling ok to do so, i think i had 2 calls in the 12 months between the 2 homes which really didn't help with the seperation from him. He moved 6 months ago to a home much close to me and so far the staff there have been wonderful, helpful caring and sympathetic to not only dads needs but mine also. Ive not had any phone calls as dad can't communicate very well these days but it's thelittle things that make a difference ... i sent him a postcard from my hols,that was put up right next to his bed with a pic of me next to it, one nurse spent the afternoon with him talking thru his photo album of memories i made then spent another hour with me talking about the memories i had of the pics so she could talk to dad more about them the next day :) :) :)
So yeah there's some good ones and bad ones i wish there was a list to see 'reviews' of every care home too, trudging thru the CQC ( not sure i got that right ... the quality Care site from the NHS...) was slow and painfully hard to read.
Sarah
 

copsham

Registered User
Oct 11, 2012
586
0
Oxfordshire
Good nursing home

I continue to be pleasantly suprised at my mum's nursing home. Mum has flourished. Last time I visited she said "Its good here" "I feel safe here" and commented positively on the food.

I have been able to change my role from permanently worrying about her to being able to work with the staff who really care about the service they give her. It is like gold. I am in South Buckinghamshire. PM me if anyone wants details of this home.
 

TinaT

Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
7,095
0
Bolton
I certainly don't want to rain on anyone's parade but, if five carers leave the premises for a week, doesn't that leave the remaining residents with less good care?

These left behind residents are possibly the ones who need a great deal of care and attention just to keep them clean and comfortable.

I do worry about activity coordinators who arrange 'grand events' which possibly leave the more severely disabled as at best spectators, or at worst without the small gestures needed to ensure that they too are important and considered.


xxTinaT
 

artyfarty

Registered User
Oct 30, 2009
267
0
London
Thanks Polly, for this thread. So good to read some positive comments about care homes. My mums not at the stage where we have to consider it yet but the thought has been sitting at the back of mind like a little dark troll. You've helped me knock the troll back into his hole a little!
 

grobertson62

Registered User
Mar 7, 2011
581
0
Sheffield
Hi Pauline
It is great to hear about good homes. There is so much bad press about the bad ones but then news about good ones wouldnt sell papers.
I was fortunate to chose a good one for my dad after looking at 10.
I never regretted it. The love and care was second to none.
Gill
 

Polly1945

Registered User
Oct 24, 2012
261
0
Hereford
Hi Thanks for all the interesting responses, it is good to know that there are more really good care homes out there.

Tina T - just to put your mind at ease. The Home makes sure that extra staff are brought in to cover the five days. The residents (there is only 18 in total) that were unable to go on the annual holiday trip are treated to other outings so as not to be left out. A trip was arranged for them to go to the local small breeds farm. They have lovely owls and small animals there that can be petted and of course a very nice tea-room.

During the summer they all went on a canal barge trip down the Gloucester canal and had a lovely picnic on board (weather not good enough for an outside picnic!) The boat was run by the Willow Trust charity for disabled people and it was converted to accept wheelchairs. They even had a platform lift to take the residents up to the captain's deck and for them to have a go at steering the boat!

This Christmas, as last year, they organise a party in the local village hall, where not only families and friends are invited, but also the villagers too. Last year it was really good and everyone had a lovely time. Dancing (even with their zimmer frames) Music by a Husband and wife team (keyboard and singer), food prepared by the Home's own kitchen etc. I'm looking forward to this year's do.

A big thank you to all those carers and care homes that are making such a positive difference in peoples lives.

Pauline
 

Polly1945

Registered User
Oct 24, 2012
261
0
Hereford
Just wanted to add this little bit -

I have recently found out that some of the carers who took the residents away on holiday did it voluntarily, one of the carers who would have worked 14 hours that week, got paid for the 14 hours, but considering they were away from Monday morning to Friday afternoon with 24 hours care for each resident, I would say that they all "went the extra mile"!

Although years ago I promised my mum and dad that I wouldn't let them go into a home, and I really meant it. But then Dad died and Mum's Alzheimer's became obvious for us all to see, so of course the situation changed, and after being the full time carer for Mum for almost 5 years - I was eventually so relieved that mum was able to go into this care home.

I know that many of you are worrying about the dreaded day arriving but if you are very fortunate to find a good home, it will be such a relief.

Pauline
 

Padraig

Registered User
Dec 10, 2009
1,038
0
Hereford
During the period of my wife's illness (AD) I had her stay at a wonderful place in the same area for a respite stay, it was also was run by the Local Authority. It may be that it was the same the place and has since been turned into a NH. To the best of my knowledge there were no NHs run by the Local Authority in 2002.

However the two hospitals in the area where my wife spent periods of time, left a great deal to be desired. They were clueless when it came to attending to patients with Alzheimer's.
On our first visit to a hospital, we walked and she came out five weeks later in a wheelchair! Staff talked down to me. After a number of visits over the years I insisted on taking my wife home once she was treated. It took some time, but they got the message that hospital is not a long stay place for patients with AD.
 

Polly1945

Registered User
Oct 24, 2012
261
0
Hereford
Hi Padraig

I have read all of your posts during the time I've been on here and I must say that your wife was a very lucky person to have such a wonderful, caring husband. You couldn't have done more for her.

I agree with you about the hospital care (or should I say lack of it, where dementia is concerned). My Mum was taken into hospital from the Care Home in Withington (where they also have a day care centre and a respite unit, so perhaps it is the same home we are both talking about?)

She had a chest infection which was turning into pneumonia and they also found out that she had some renal failure. This was in early spring. The ambulance was called for and she was rushed to hospital. The medical care was fine, but sadly they do not have the understanding of dementia - my Mum was put into a side ward and was absolutely terrified, no exaggeration, she was shaking from head to toe when I went in to see her. During my visits she had no-one call in to see if she was al-right, just a quick visit from a lady with a cup of tea, or a doctor to take more blood samples.

I was so upset by it all that my husband phoned and spoke to the "Site manager", perhaps that's the new term for a Matron, and to be fair, she immediately went across to the ward and sorted it out so that Mum was put in a 4 bed ward, that helped a little as she was able to see other people and it was closer to the nurses station.

Fortunately, after one week, Mum pulled through and was soon back to her lovely care home where she was given plenty of TLC.

When meal times came around (this happened when I was visiting) the food was put on the little table and just left there. It was a jacket potato, not even cut, a pot of cheese with a very tight fitting lid (another patient had to call out for help getting the lid off) and butter in a pack. O.K. for some-one who could manage sorting it out, but for Mum at that time it was just too complicated!

Hospitals and dementia do not go hand in glove!

I hope you are keeping well.

Best wishes
Pauline
 

Lizjg

Registered User
Dec 29, 2011
101
0
Near Newark / Grantam
Hi, my Mum has recently gone into a carehome and as you say it's the small things that matter the most. My Dad had a video of their wedding which I transferred onto a dvd for him. He took it in to the carehome and asked if they could put it on in her room sometime as he thought she may remember some of it. He went into the carehome the next day to find out that everybody on the unit (including the manager) had sat down the previous afternoon to watch it in the lounge. It made his day.
 

yoyo

Registered User
Sep 22, 2012
80
0
thank you for this thread , I am looking for a CH now and hope I've found the right one. I've looked at 6 now and it was the 6th that taught me what I was looking for but its got 17 on the waiting list. there is one just a little further away than I would of liked, my daughter has said its lovely - I'm hoping to see it today or Monday. reading all the comments above has given me confidence in the CH system. Good luck to all x
 

Polly1945

Registered User
Oct 24, 2012
261
0
Hereford
Hi, my Mum has recently gone into a carehome and as you say it's the small things that matter the most. My Dad had a video of their wedding which I transferred onto a dvd for him. He took it in to the carehome and asked if they could put it on in her room sometime as he thought she may remember some of it. He went into the carehome the next day to find out that everybody on the unit (including the manager) had sat down the previous afternoon to watch it in the lounge. It made his day.

Hi Lizjg,

I'm so pleased for you and your Dad. That was a lovely idea to transfer the wedding video onto a DVD. So kind that the staff had sat and watched it too. I'm sure that everyone would have enjoyed it and I hope that your Mum would have been able to relate to it too. It sounds like you too have found a really great care home, especially as the one leading the team was able to sit down with everyone. Good management always starts at the top and by example.

Best wishes

Pauline
 

Polly1945

Registered User
Oct 24, 2012
261
0
Hereford
thank you for this thread , I am looking for a CH now and hope I've found the right one. I've looked at 6 now and it was the 6th that taught me what I was looking for but its got 17 on the waiting list. there is one just a little further away than I would of liked, my daughter has said its lovely - I'm hoping to see it today or Monday. reading all the comments above has given me confidence in the CH system. Good luck to all x

Hi YoYo (that's quite an appropriate name for someone dealing with dementia!)

It's good that you have taken the time to look at so many homes. The fact that they have a long waiting list speaks volumes. My Mum had been going to her care home for day care, three days a week and sometimes for respite care, and when I heard that they had a long waiting list, I took the opportunity to put Mum's name down on the list about two years ago (hoping I would never have to take up the offer as I never wanted her to go into a home).

It's so reassuring to know that there are some really good homes out there, it's just so difficult to know which they are. You can't really tell from QCC reports - the only way is to feel the atmosphere when you visit unannounced. It often shows in the way the staff interact with one another too.

Best wishes

Pauline