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when is the best/worst time to look at a care home?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by dave b, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. dave b

    dave b Registered User

    Nov 21, 2006
    is it before you get so wound up that you panic? or clearly think it out?
    some have you will have already realised that i'm having probs with mom!
    but it's now coming to a head
    i'm the only relative( her son) no one to talk to,we keep going but i dont know for how much longer!
    my girlfriend helps so do my mates, it's tough, any advice?
  2. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Look as soon as possible

    My sister & I did it way ahead of time. Mind you, my mother was already in a retirement home so it was not the hugely difficult decision it would have been otherwise.

    I think it's best to do this sort of thing when you are clear headed. And go see as many as you can - I find it really helps. Don't be taken in by pretty surroundings - find out about the staff turnover, check on the cleanliness, look at the menu, talk to other families if you can. Go more than once & at different times. Are the staff interacting with the residents? What are the activities and outings like? Look for the things that matter to you.

    Good luck.
  3. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    I agree with Joanne. I tried VERY hard to get my M&D to look at places for several years before they needed to move. They really only needed a regular Care home (not EMI) because my Mum's dementia was still mild (and even now is not a threat in any physical way).

    What they did was refuse to look at anything until the crisis arrived, then had to accept an EMI home because it was the only place they could be together and the only place that could take them immediately.

    In other words, they had NO choice. If they had only accepted that the need was coming, they could have had more choice. Also, I should have done more looking myself because I did not realise how imminent the crisis was - in other words, we often have no clear picture of just when it will become a necessity.

    Fortunately the Care Home is brilliant, but both my parents chafed under the EMI restrictions which were not totally necessary in their case. Dad is gone now and Mum needs the care more, but even today she could probably be OK in a good Care Home.

    I'm telling you all this to encourage you to look at places, put your Mum's name down, get a feel for what you think will be suitable etc. I think that surrendering all choice because you are faced with a crisis situation is not ideal for you or your Mum. I hope for your sake (and her's) it need never come to that.
  4. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Sussex

    My sister and I had no choice for the first home, Dad had a sudden massive stroke and when it was clear Mum had no idea he was not there and showed no interest in visiting him, I phoned a care home I had worked in that luckily took her straight away.

    That gave us the chance to spend as much time as possible with Dad until his death 2 weeks later.

    We then had to find a secure EMI home when Mum starting to go walkabout, putting herself at risk.

    That home we chose because it was the one that "felt right."

    The staff had all been there for a long time, were happy and interacted with the residents on a one to one basis.

    Two years on, we know we made the right choice for her, she is safe, well looked after and the staff know her ways far better than we do..............just as it should be really, for her sake.

  5. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Dave

    100% ahead of time. I had never had a relative in a NH, and had this dreadful image of a 'workhouse'!

    Looking around we did see the good, bad and down right ugly. As we were looking we also got experienced in what to look for. Remember, you dont have to visit a home just once, if you are not sure about something, go back again.

    Far better to make an informed decision, than hit crisis, and start looking in a panic. Try to take someone with you, a friend may be more objective than you, also its nice to be able to discuss the pros and cons with someone else.

    If you find a really good home, there is nothing stopping you from putting mum's name on their waiting list, and if a place becomes available, and you dont think the timing is right, simply turn it down, but ask to remain on the list.

    Its a hard step to take, so try to be brave, and remember, looking commits you to nothing.

  6. dave b

    dave b Registered User

    Nov 21, 2006
    thanks,cate i think that might have been the push in the right direction
    every time i take mom to the gp for anything, she seems more worried about me than mom! so maybe this is the time to talk!,unfortunately our sw is now on holliday,so it's a couple of weeks till i can find approved units to look at should i now grasp the bull by the horns?
  7. lizzie2596

    lizzie2596 Registered User

    Jul 3, 2007
    Hi Dave

    Even though your SW is on holiday there will be a duty SW answering the phone and they should be able to provide you with a list. You can also go on the CSCI website (www.csci.org.uk). Their search facility works really well. It will save waiting a couple of weeks more.

    Liz x
  8. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Dave

    Liz is quite right, you can get the list from the CSCI, in fact this was the route I went down because we moved mum from her local LHB area to mine, even though she remains the responsibility of her original LHB.

    We chose the home, and simply told Social Services which one we wanted.

    So grasp that bull, and good luck. Let us know how you are doing.



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