1. maryk

    maryk Registered User

    Oct 25, 2015
    my sister and I care for our 88 yr old mum , who lives in sheltered housing but now needs more care than we can give her to keep her safe. We got a social worker and she has been under the memory clinic for about 4 yrs, and both agreed it would be safer for her to be in a care home. My sister and I visited a few in the area a few months ago, and chose the one we felt we would be most comfortable in if it was one of us that needed care. There were no vacant rooms, and we were not in a great hurry so we put mums name on the list and said we would wait till a room was available.
    She has now deteriorated some, and the social worker told us we needed to look at other places rather than hang on for just that one.
    We visited 2 more last week and got a good feel for one of them, the residents looked cared for, happy and were chatting over lunch when we arrived unanounced and asked to be shown round. I had checked the cqc report on it and it had overall required improvement in most areas in january this year. It has been visited by cqc again in June this year, and their latest report from a visit in october, said every lssue raised had been attended to and actions put into place but they could not yet change the rating until the home showed that the changes made were consistent for a longer period.
    The home phoned us up yesterday to say they had a room for mum if we want it. When we had a family meeting it came to light that this particular home had been the subject of a newspaper report on failings in care homes, in January this year and a case of neglect had been raised against them by the son of a resident, whos mother has since passed away.The council stopped any new state funded admissions to this home until improvements were made. This must have now been amended as mum is state funded.
    I,m now in turmoil about what to do as my gut instinct, and my sisters, before we found this out was that mum would be looked after and would be happy there once she settled in, the staff seemed lovely,had activities every day, the food looked and smelt great, the residents were happy and it was clean and being refurbished in the next 2 months, but other family members( who do not help at all with mums care) are saying we should just wait for the other place.
    Her mobility has really deteriorated, she gets confused with her meds, wouldnt think to eat if we didnt go and make her something, and forgets we have taken her out (at least 4 days a week) 10 minutes after we bring her home. I worry that if she falls after teatime she could be there all night because she wont wear the bracelet alert and even if she did she forgets what its for and wouldnt think to press it.
    Its really getting my sister down and making her ill, shes not sleeping well, worried about mum and doesnt know what to do. I wish someone could just come and make these heartbreaking decisions for us and make it all ok, but i know thats not reality, and no one can really help
    . Sorry for the long post but I know the people on this forum will understand xx What an awful Journey we are all on xx
  2. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    I'm not at the stage yet where i'm looking at care homes for my mum BUT you went unannounced and you saw so many positives.

    At this stage your sister's health is important too.

    If you wait a crisis might arise and you will have to go with somewhere quick.

    The case in the paper - was it this Jan that the issue arose or was it Jan it was reported?

    I think the CQC saying it was improved but needs to be consistent is a positive - they will be back to check soon so the home is making sure they can tick the boxes.
  3. Patricia Alice

    Patricia Alice Registered User

    Mar 2, 2015
    Hi MaryK,

    We had the same problem, we looked after mum who was in sheltered until we could do it no longer. We moved her to residential dementia and hoped she would settle, she didn't because her dementia was progressing. In June of this year she became agitated over something and lashed out and was served notice. We saw a home we wanted with an EMI unit, but sadly no beds, as we were on 28 day notice we trudged around home after home and found nothing we felt right for mum. Then we found a nursing dementia home but with a mixed CQC report. As we were on a time scale we went for this home and I have to say they are brilliant, the care is good and they do lots of activities. Our problem now is because she is funded by the state and we have to top up the shortfall, we have found ourselves in difficulty due to family illness and we do not know if she can stay here if we can't afford it much longer. Worrying times for us.

    Although CQC is important, in our case it was proved wrong as the home is brilliant.

    It's a difficult one to answer but you can wait a long time for a bed to become available in the home of your choice. The home we wanted rang us two weeks after moving mum to offer us a place but we had to decline it as we had only just moved her, but they have kept us on their list indefinitely in case, which is good to know.

    It is a heartbreaking decision but not something we do lightly.

    Take care and best wishes.
  4. Grable

    Grable Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    CQCs are a bit like Ofsted inspections for school - they're almost always out of date. I would go with my gut instincts and go with this home. As you say, you turned up unannounced and were happy with it.

    If other family members really want to wait for the first home to have a vacancy, point out to them that your mum will need more care than you and your sister can give in the interim and ask them where they would like to be put on the rota. That tends to concentrate minds enormously! The other alternative would be to buy in care in her current place to supplement what you two can do. If your mum can't afford it, maybe the other family members would dip into their pockets to sort that out?
  5. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Morning MaryK
    dad went into his care home earlier this year, so I appreciate how challenging it is to make this decision.
    I too had a choice between a home which which on the surface had all the current ideas for a good home - sensory room, that kind of thing (mind you it was not cheap), and had a waiting list - and one that was plainer (and cheaper) but still had a good feel about it and had an immediate opening.
    I chose the immediate as I too was really concerned about dad's safety.
    The other home called me days after offering a place - but I chose to stay with the first.
    I had read the CQC reports, must have missed that there was a question about one aspect for the current home - and shortly after dad went in there was a piece in the local paper over an issue that had been dealt with well a year before, but seemed to put the home in a bad light (I responded to it and set the record straight), Anyway, the home was recently inspected and got GOOD. I actually think that having to prove themselves had made them overall a more sound ship.
    Most importantly for me, I am happy with the care they provide - dad has been challenging, but they treat him well.
    So - I agree - go with your gut feeling - because you have done all the groundwork, so it is not just a flippant choice.
    Maybe pay another unannounced visit at an awkward time - a meal time, early morning, evening - just to see how they react. In dad's home, a family with young children 'popped in' for a look around at 7.30 in the evening. I watched the staff member who opened the door (one of the senior carers, the manager had gone home) - she did show a little surprise, then welcomed them in and organised a tour. That's what should happen in any home that has confidence in itself.
    Very best wishes to you all
  6. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    As people have said the CQC reports are sometimes out of date but they are very useful guidelines. You could ask social services about the previous issue - tell the social worker you are concerned and could she give you more information and see what she says. I agree to make one more unannounced visit would be a good idea - possibly first thing in the morning or even on a Sunday - just to check there are enough staff and that residents are engaged. The staff numbers at key times are a real indicator of whether or not the home can cope.

    As long as you can keep a close eye on how your Mother is settling and have an open mind about moving her if there are any big issues then given the health and worries of the immediate family I would trust my gut instincts.
  7. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    I think once cqc has a particular care home in their sights, the care home ups their game and rectifies any shortcomings. Don't think any home gets 100%, but I should imagine this particular care home is doing their very best to keep standards of care high on the agenda. Can't hurt if the whole family involved in the decision making have another visit asap.
  8. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    Care homes depend on their managers. If he/she started after the cqc report, the home has probably changed for the better and will probably stay that way but look out for temporary managers, often they've taken over from bad managers but have no incentive to really get the place sorted ( this happened to me).
  9. maryk

    maryk Registered User

    Oct 25, 2015

    Thankyou all so much for responding to my post, and please accept my apologies for the late acknowledgement.
    Just to update you all we didnt go with that particular care home , as when my sister and I took mum for lunch there, it just didnt seem the right place for her.
    We visited a place that has only been open since Feb this year, and mum moved in about 10 days ago. The room is lovely and the staff are very caring, but some of the residents are further into the illnes than mum is and it unnerves her. On the whole she has settled better than we thought she would, but she still gets confused and upset. There are few residents she can have a normal conversation with, so although she is integrating we often find her just sitting looking upset and confused.The staff are really good, and they took her upstairs to the purely residential floor for an afternoon,, where she could have a normal conversation . She seems to have deteriorated a lot in just a short time, and now im tormenting myself about if we should have kept her at home and stepped up the care. She has been visited every day, and I took her great grandchildren today for an hour, she has a fantastic relationship with them and was so happy. She was fine when we left her about 5.30pm after we had sat with her while she had tea, we had taken her back to her room ( at her request)and she was sat quite happily watching tv when we kissed her goodbye, and she waved us off.
    My sister called in just an hour later at 6.30pm , and mum was sat crying in her room, very confused, said no one had been for her to go for tea and she didnt know where she was or where she was supposed to go. I know its the dementia and it will get worse, its just the not knowing if she would have been the same in her flat, or is it the move and being with people more advanced that has caused the decline. No easy answers I know :confused:, I just wanted to update and say thankyou for your previous replys.

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