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Procedure for finding a care home

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by josephinewilson, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. josephinewilson

    josephinewilson Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    112
    Lancashire
    Hopefully this won't be for some time but I feel better when I am organised. In the event the sheltered accommodation wher my mum lives says she ought to be in residential care, what do I actually do? Do I just google local care homes, ring them up to see if they have vacancies, visit and inspect them and ask their prices? Or is there another procedure? My mother has about 20K more than the limit for any council allowances, so presumably she'd pay for care until her funds go down to that £23K (?) limit? And then does the council pay? When I see adverts for "private care homes" does that then mean that they take all your money, rather than stopping once you have reached the £23K ?
    Thanks so much for you help or any info you can point me to that I should have read before now.
     
  2. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,619
    USA
    The Alzheimer's Society has a lot of good information on their website. This will get you to some links that might have some helpful info for you: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/carehomes

    I think it's very smart of you to look ahead. It's impossible to say if or when your mother might need to live full-time in a care home, but it's always possible you might need respite at some point.

    Since I'm one of the people who had very short notice to find a care home for my mother, and wish I had done it differently, I think that if you have the time and are able, it's a good idea to see what's available, when it's not an emergency.

    The best advice I can give you is that no matter now fancy or humble the care home is, at the end of the day it's the staff who are providing the hands on care.

    I know you'll get some good advice here and best wishes to you.
     
  3. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,731
    I would do a couple of things
    join your local carers group and carers cafe (google that one lol), they usually meet about once a month, and you will be given tons of local info that you would never get from anywhere else - people are only too willing to share their experiences, good and bad and a cup of coffee. It is worth taking some time off work just to get the info if you need to.

    Once you have a short list then visit, unannounced and apologetic for not having phoned in advance!!! You will begin to get a feel for what's what - Age UK have a good checklist on their site which is worth carrying around with you.

    Then check out the CQC reports - http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/care-homes
    I suggest you don't just read the summary read the whole report - you will get info on staffing, caring, activities, how it is managed.

    It sounds like a list!! but it is really worth doing, hope that helps x
     
  4. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,475
    Radcliffe on Trent
    #4 Pickles53, Feb 12, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
    Just to add to fizzie's excellent list, ask for homes to give you copies of their contracts, terms and conditions, etc for self-funders. Ask about how often fees are reviewed and if there is a 'cap' on how much the annual increases will be. Also will they accept the LA rate when your mum becomes eligible or will they expect someone to pay a 'top-up' fee.

    Well done for thinking ahead. We were in the process of doing this when my mum had a fall and never was able to go back home. It was a huge help that we had already done our homework and were able to bring plans forward when we needed to move fast.
     
  5. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,788
    Female
    South coast
    I would like to mention that the most expensive home do not necessarily provide the best care.
    Mums CH is a bit scruffy round the edges, but is homely and the carers are lovely.
    Avoid any that seem emotionally cold and ones with a "bathroom" smell (unless someone has just had an accident)
    Find out what the food is like
    Find out what activities there are.
    Ask what sort of behaviour they would not be able to cope with. Many CH take both dementia and non-dementia residents, but as soon as the behaviour impacts upon the non-dementia residents you would be expected to find somewhere else (which is fair enough). They may not be able to cope with wandering or resistance to personal care (both common dementia symptoms) or they may not be able to cope with medical problems that would require a nursing home. Im not necessarily saying avoid these places, but be aware of their limitations and expect to have to organise a move when the time comes.
    Ask if they can bring their own possessions with them. Mums CH takes the line - if it will fit in her room she can put it in her room. This means that she has her own chest of drawers and bed-side cabinet, lamp, pictures and bed-throw.
    Ask about whether they accept LA funding, or whether you would pay a "top-up" fee and how much it is likely to be.

    Good luck x
     
  6. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,745
    Female
    London
    You would do well finding out what your council's care home rate is. When they take over funding they must offer you at least one choice within that rate that meets your Mum's needs but that might not necessarily be the one she is in. If there is a cheaper one and you can't prove it's not fulfilling her needs or it would be detrimental to move her, then move her they will.

    Also, don't wait till her money is reduced, as councils act slowly. Get her on the radar with them now, at the very least they can provide you with a list of care homes to choose from. They could also signpost where to find interim support, as selecting a care home and getting a vacancy can take time.
     
  7. theunknown

    theunknown Registered User

    Apr 17, 2015
    335
    Hi Josephine. It's a great idea to plan ahead. Like Amy, I had to find a care home for my mum at very short notice; she'd been taken onto a psychiatric ward, then moved on to a Section 2, and then a Section 3. All I can say is what happened in my experience. Once I was told that my mum would never be able to return to her home I found a place near me. She had a lot of friends where she had her house, but wouldn't have recognised them as friends anymore. I read things that say my mum should have got NHS funding due to the Section 3, but this has never happened in my mum's case and I haven't had the energy to pursue this. The local authority area she resided in pay their agreed allowance for care home fees. Our local authority funding would probably be a bit higher, but my mum has never lived in this area. I pay a top-up fee for my mum to be in the home I liked. For months this top-up fee was paid by us, but once I got deputyship and had access to my mum's bank account I was able to claim back the top-up fees. Now my mum's top-up fees are being paid from her bank account. I feel myself lucky that I have access to [mum's] funds, which means (for now) she isn't reliant on others.
     
  8. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,776
    Salford
    Do I just google local care homes, ring them up to see if they have vacancies, visit and inspect them and ask their prices? Or is there another procedure?
    I'd start asking around and get personal recommendations a visit won't really tell you that much and as suggested check the Care Quality Commission report on the place. They also have a list of care home in the UK on the link below.

    My mother has about 20K more than the limit for any council allowances, so presumably she'd pay for care until her funds go down to that £23K (?) limit? And then does the council pay?
    Over £23k she'd be self funding, between £23k and £14k she'd have to pay part of the fee, under £14k and the LA pay the bill.
    They will have a rate they pay the care home and so if your Mum was in a more expensive home they may want to move her to a cheaper one, this is the subject of much discussion about what can and should happen.


    When I see adverts for "private care homes" does that then mean that they take all your money, rather than stopping once you have reached the £23K ?
    It just means their privately owned not part of a national chain of homes.

    Also as suggested (nearer the time) get on the council's radar if a home is on the council approved list then it may be better to go with that option from the start and if they're aware of her and her situation the transition of the funding may be smoother.
    K
    http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/care-homes
     

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