‘Home’ is such an evocative word, because it instantly conjures up a multitude of thoughts and memories. It’s the place where we live and where we store our most treasured possessions. So, when the decision is made that moving to a care home is needed, managing the home-to-care home transition sympathetically and compassionately is essential. This applies to both the individual making the move as well as friends and family.
Here we look at everything from your first steps and early questions about types of care through to making the move itself, so that you know how to manage to transition to a care home with minimal stress or difficulty. Moving into a care or nursing home is a huge physical and emotional adjustment and the decision to move is often taken reluctantly.
Knowing what type of care home is needed, what level of care is required, how it will be paid for and how to physically make the move, are all concerns loved ones have when faced with elder care.
It is generally best to consider a care home for an older person if they are struggling to live alone at home. It may be that the support from family and friends, as well as paid carers, is no longer sufficient to meet their needs.
There are three main types of care:
When choosing a care or nursing home you have the right to expect good quality care and support from your care home. The basics – comfortable accommodation, a nutritious food plan for your meals, laundry services and on-hand support from the care staff – should be a ‘given’. If you need assistance with dressing, bathing, eating and general movement, then you need to ensure that this is included in the package you have selected.
Care home fees vary depending on the level of care required and the facilities chosen. If you have selected a nursing home because specialist medical care or nursing services are required, these services will add to the cost. So, it’s important to understand what exactly is included before taking a decision. Your Primary Care Trust or doctor can arrange for an assessment to support the decision-making. They will assess both from a physical and mental healthcare perspective.
Most people self-fund their own care. They may do this from savings, releasing equity in the property (or selling their home), or with contributions from family. The government is making changes from October 2023 to how much individuals are required to contribute to their care needs, and implementing new caps, so it’s worth being familiar with these upcoming changes. Alternatively, a good care facility will be able to help you with any questions relating to funding.
It is recommended that families should choose the geographical area that works for them so that they can easily visit. Looking at the website will provide an indication of the facilities on offer, the types of care available and the rooms available.
Once you have a shortlist, it’s very important that you visit the homes to see which you think will best suit your family member. You will be able to get a feel for the staff and facilities on offer to see if it provides the home-from-home experience. Discuss the costs and find out what is included in the fees. Look at the amenities and the facilities, including asking about social programmes and activities. Ask about how family visits are arranged and organised. Try to speak to multiple members of staff to get a feel for the skills, experience and care they provide. Look at the cleanliness and the types of rooms your loved one would be offered. Ask about meals and ask to see a menu (at Aurem we encourage our visitors to join us for a meal!).
We advise that a short stay is recommended in the first instance. Respite care often leads to a positive experience and one that makes the transition easier in the long run. The practicalities of the move itself require planning. Each care facility will allow small items of furniture and some personal effects to make the individual room homely. But the packing can be a difficult task. Allow time, where possible. It can be difficult to let go of other possessions that aren’t packed.
Similarly for unpacking. Time will be required to ensure everything is settled and positioned well in the adjustment to the new environment. At Aurem we are experienced in advising on the process of leaving a home to enter a new home-from-home. Each of our managers is available to support individuals, families, and friends to ensure a smooth transition.
Aurem Care homes are all about people caring about people, we believe our care homes should be happy homes for loved ones.
Where older adults can forge worthwhile, meaningful relationships with our team and make new friends.