Visited NH today

claire43

Registered User
Jul 11, 2013
153
South Wales
Today was our first experience of looking for a suitable place for my dad. It certainly opened my eyes to things.

First of all it was a nightmare to find being out of the way through narrow roads in the south wales valleys. It took us over a hour to get there & although the staff were very nice & the manager was very good it was not a positive experience.

The other residents were either asleep in their own rooms or sat in main tv lounge just staring blankly. IMO my dad is nowhere near that stage & would absolutely hate it. There were 2 rooms available, the first was extremely small, it looked like a prison cell with the only view being a large tree. The second room was even worse, it was larger but very dark even with the light on and through both windows all you could see was a very old high brick wall:eek:

I came home & cried.
 

legolover

Registered User
Jul 25, 2011
166
West Midlands
It's such a hard thing having to start to consider a move like this, and you are bound to find it stressful. What made you choose this particular home to look at? Do you have any personal recommendations? There are lots of homes out there and I'm sure after looking at a few you will have a better idea of what is available. They do vary a lot. Make sure you think about what HE will be comfortable with...sometimes we can be swayed by our own preferences. eg one home may appear very luxurious and immaculate but the staff uncaring, while another could do with some renovation or like this one, no view....however the care could be wonderful. There are inspection reports for care /nursing homes available on line from the CQC, a bit like the OFSTED reports for schools
 

claire43

Registered User
Jul 11, 2013
153
South Wales
In our area there are very few EMI NH. Out of a list of about 8 - (some of which were 30 miles away & not accessible by public transport making it extremely difficult for my mam to visit him), only 3 have vacancies. Theres the one we looked at today, one we love which is only a couple of miles away but we cannot afford the top up fees plus another one we are going to try & view on my next day off work which is next monday:(

I know my Dad & he would have nobody to chat to as everyone seemed at such an advanced stage & this alone would make him desperately unhappy.
 

grove

Registered User
Aug 24, 2010
7,723
North Yorkshire
Would this help ? ................

Hello Claire , Sorry you had a upsetting :( visit looking at a N H for your Dad it is not easy especially when you do not have a big choice to choose from ................ Just a thought & sorry I do not know the ins & outs of your Dad 's problems / needs ....... but if he does not require full Nursing care the other option is a E M I Care Home ( no full time Nursing Care given tho only from District Nurse / G P ) Sorry just seen you are in Wales with your own Government etc ........ so you might not have that type of C H ? Like I say its just a thought & please ignore if not suitable


Wishing you all much strength & positive vibes in looking for a Home


Love & Kind thoughts


Grove x x
 

annie h

Registered User
Jun 1, 2013
148
Hi Claire,
I really feel for you - I remember that first visit to a home when looking for one for my Mum with horror!

A couple of things:
1. The most expensive homes aren't always the best. I went to a fabulous-looking brand new home, part of a reputable chain, near us. It looked like a hotel. There were some little things I wasn't quite comfortable about to add to the fact it was phenomenally expensive and I was worried whether Mum's funds would last. I then had reason to look for homes again a few months later and looked up the CQC report for this home - it had not had one yet when we visited. It was the worst I'd ever seen with two enforcement notices and two improvement notices out of the five headings.

2. The previous post about the carers being the most important aspect is spot on. Don't necessarily limit yourself to EMI registered homes. I've just posted something like this in another thread - I was looking for dementia units and happened to choose one which had both a residential home and a dementia unit next door. It was their idea to try Mum in the residential home first and in spite of Mum's challenging behaviour at the time they were brilliant. I'm sure it helped that most of the staff also worked from time to time in the dementia unit so they were all very experienced at dealing with dementia. They took the view that Mum would only need to go into the dementia unit if she started to wander or to cause trouble with other residents and require extra staff levels to manage her. All the standard stuff like getting angry with bathing and so on they were perfectly able to manage within the residential setting. Like you I'd been told to look for dementia care so it was pure luck that I happened on somewhere that suggested a different approach. It worked really well for us, and if it works in that setting it may be less distressing for him and you than to be in an EMI home.
3. Go and see as many places as you can. After the initial shock wears off you find yourself learning more about what to look for and eventually you'll feel able to be a bit more objective!

I really hope you find somewhere you like soon.
 

fredsnail

Registered User
Dec 21, 2008
649
Hi,

I'm in Wales and when we were looking for a home for Grandad the social worker advised EMI homes - however we looked at residential & nursing homes and his first home was a lovely residential home which we knew he'd love.

Sadly he deteriorated and wasn't able to stay there for more than a few months - but the next home we chose was a residential and nursing home - so that when he deteriorated further he'd still be cared for by the same staff but just receive more care.

Visit as many homes as you can - be very honest with them when you visit - tell them if Dad wanders, if he hallucinates etc. All the homes will go to assess him before accepting him so they will tell you if they are unable to cope with him before he goes.

You will find one that suits him more than the one you've looked at - I think we looked at around 12 homes over a weekend both times we were looking for Grandad. Some you will cross off the list very quickly - others you may want to go back to see.

Good luck with your visits.
 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,471
Kent
I can totally relate to your post, have spent the end of last week looking at 9 care homes and the first one in particular in a large Victorian house, had their dementia unit in the basement segregated from the rest of residents! I wasn't prepared for that.Yes the image that conjures up in your minds is correct, back to the asylum days, like your experience most residents seemed far more advanced than dad or is it that they are medicated and the lack of interaction by carers shocked me. I have sent a report to the cqc as I was so concerned about the lack of interaction especially and if I was a resident there and someone visiting noticed the lack of interaction and stimulation I would want someone to speak up for me, within 5 mins of waiting to be shown around and listening/looking I could see this wasn't the place for dad and then when I was led through a lovely large oak panelled room where other residents were sitting, no interaction from passing staff, and then led through the kitchen down back stairs and an overwhelming stench of urine...I don't need to continue! I did see a couple that may suit dad, like buying a house we're not going to get all our wishes and will have to compromise but am a strong believer in first impressions and gut instinct whilst researching cqc reports which, like an car mot, is only as good as the day they're inspected and that you get a good inspector who can pick up on things. Dad is fortunate that he is a self funder but being able to afford a choice doesn't mean that the more expensive is any better, as someone has said you will get a feel for the carers when you visit and that is the most important thing. Some things the more expensive 'hotels' offer may not already be accessible to dad as he declines, not much point in paying for something he cannot interact with ie a newspaper reading discussion group! Yes 3 years ago but not now!

So, like you, my journey continues, when I find the one that will best suit dad who is in moderate dementia stage, I and my sisters will know. Like yours, our dad still has some character and personality and at this stage to go into a home with mainly more advanced stage residents (whilst accepting that he will probably in time also reach this stage) would I feel speed his decline and would be counter productive in adding value to his days now. We care for him 24 hours a day as he would wander, since mum died suddenly 3 mths ago but we have now after realising care in his home isn't going to be feasible to take that brave next step so our thoughts are with you also.

I have found it impossible to get any recommendations so the starting point is like dipping your toe into the complete unknown and it is daunting, I suppose because the first visit was such a terrible one and the subsequent visits got better it gave me hope that we will find something to suit our dad.
 
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linda1scot

Registered User
Aug 2, 2011
416
53
north lanarkshire
Hi

I just wanted to say I know how you feel.

My sister and I looked at 12 care/nursing homes before we found 'the one' and although they had no vacancies we waited until a room became available (mum was in hospital and they agreed to keep mum until a vacancy).

We managed to whittle the homes down and came up with our top 3. My 2 brothers then came to see our 3 luckily we were all in agreement.

All I would say is as well as looking at the home reports and scores absolutely 100% go on your gut instinct. Like you the first home I viewed a dementia unit I was distraught and cried constantly thinking is this where my mum is going to end up? It does get better as do the homes although you said you are restricted in your area as to the amount of homes.

My mum is now in a fantastic nursing home with their very own choir (mum and I sang in choirs for years) and in her first week in the home was singing with the others in the newly formed choir!

I wish you the very best of luck in what is a harrowing task but with hopefully a wonderful outcome. xoxox
 

Raggedrobin

Registered User
Jan 20, 2014
1,427
Hi, I'm looking at homes too, goodness what a mishmash. Some seem so haphazard and others good. But i think I may have found the right one for Mum.They said all the right things and seemed genuinely interested in what Mum was like, whereas others asked virtually nothing about her.
Trouble is, it's a nursing home, not sure she really needs that element as yet, but it's so expensive, over a grand a week, the main worry is how long mum will keep going and how long we could fund her, rattling through her savings, and then selling her house. £50,000 a year!:(
 

claire43

Registered User
Jul 11, 2013
153
South Wales
Its crazy to see so many people experiencing the same problems either now or in the past.

I spoke to my dads SW about what I see as excessive assessment, ie EMI nursing care as opposed to residential care. He is still of the opinion that because my dad isnt always compliant with taking his meds ( depending on his mood) together with his agitation & sometimes aggressive behaviour he would only be accepted by this time of unit. I agree that my dad can be very single minded, he always has been but hopefully once he is in a different setting from a hospital ward we are hoping that he will settle a bit more.

As for taking meds apart from the dementia & a problem with his prostate my dad is in good health. He is on lorazepam 1mg a couple of times a day to try & calm him plus a mood stabilizer which has not had the desired effect but other than that I dont think we'd have too much trouble getting him to take his meds most of the time.

Ive spoken to my local Councillor, who put me in touch with our local MP & after giving them both all the information they are now looking into things on our behalf. We also have an appointment with a solicitor tomorrow who is going to help us sort dads finances out.

I honestly feel sometimes that Im just not good enough & Im letting him down :(
 

annie h

Registered User
Jun 1, 2013
148
Hi Claire,
Of course I don't know your Dad but he really doesn't sound that bad to me. My Mum was certainly verbally aggressive and could sometimes get quite agitated before she went into residential home, and was also refusing her medication a lot of the time. As I said in my first post, that didn't stop the home from accepting her - they assessed her and thought they could cope, and she actually improved for a bit once they got on top of all the nutrition, medication, hygiene and fluid issues we'd had before she went in. This was after I'd been advised to look for EMI type care. On the other hand I'd approached other homes who wouldn't even consider her because of the D word. And it is certainly true that it was helpful to know that if it didn't work out they had a dementia unit on site to transfer her into. (Originally it had been the dementia unit I'd been to see and chosen and the decision to try the main part of the home only came on assessment.)

So do keep an open mind as you might otherwise miss out on an opportunity especially if there aren't too many options where you live.